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November 2015 Taking Care of Business

Lessons in success from students at BSB and CISB Race to the Finish

The final lap of pregnancy

Bright Ideas

Meet Beijing’s mompreneurs and the next generation of teen tycoons

Plus: Everything you need for Thanksgiving, indoor winter fun, and more








Meet the Coach


Dining Out

Peter Tupper from multi-activity company Imagine.

Cantonese cuisine at Crystal Jade




Food for Thought

News and announcements from around town

The Nairs show off their spicy chicken legs


Talking Shop


Turkey and Trimmings

UrbanCoolKids cycling and safety products

Where to stock up for Thanksgiving


Birthday Bash

Parties for all tastes at little oasis



Vanessa Gauthier changes it up at Evolve

Health 24

The Natural Path

Melissa Rodriguez on iron deficiency


Mind Over Matter

Dr. George Hu’s discipline tips


Race to the Finish

Gearing up for the last lap of pregnancy


Playing Inside

Indoor fun for cold winter days


Maker’s Corner

Lantern-making at House of Knowledge International School and Kindergarten

Learning 38

Taking Care of Business

Lessons in success from students at British School of Beijing Shunyi and Canadian International School of Beijing


Open to Question

Students from Beijing International Bilingual Academy on success






Blank Canvas

Artwork from British School of Beijing Sanlitun


ESSENTIALS 7 8 12 58

Editor’s Note November Events New Arrivals The Circuit


The Echo Chamber

Ember Swift finds a reason to dress up

Happenings in Beijing’s international family scene


The Hot Topic

The Kara family shares their Beijing discoveries

Sally Wilson wonders when it’s okay to leave kids home alone


Family Favorites


These Moms Mean Business

Expat moms discover their inner entrepreneurs


Let Them Eat Cupcakes

Alyssa Lam takes the cake


Words to Live By

For Jasmine Xie, business began at school

ON THE COVER: Our cover model Xyzanyn Valmonte (age 11) lives at school, but isn’t a boarder. Her family home is inside the campus of Harrow International School of Beijing (HISB), where she is enrolled along with her sister Wyn Dorothea (10), and brother Yrvick Jestler (4). Dad Celso has been a mathematics teacher at the school since August 2014; mom Marissa is a healthcare assistant at Peterborough City Hospital in the UK. Photography by Dave’s Studio


WOMEN OF CHINA English Monthly Sponsored and administrated by ALL-CHINA WOMEN’S FEDERATION Published by WOMEN’S FOREIGN LANGUAGE PUBLICATIONS OF CHINA Publishing Date: November 1, 2015

Adviser 顾 问

2015 年 11 月(下半月)

WOMEN OF CHINA English Monthly 中华全国妇女联合会主管/主办 中国妇女外文期刊社出版 本期出版时间: 2015年11月1日

彭 云 PENG PEIYUN 全国人大常委会前副委员长 Former Vice-Chairperson of the NPC Standing Committee

Adviser 顾 问

顾秀莲 GU XIULIAN 全国人大常委会前副委员长 Former Vice-Chairperson of the NPC Standing Committee

Director and Editor-in-Chief 社长 · 总编辑

Yun Pengju 恽鹏举

Chief Editor 主编

Wei Liang 位亮

Managing Editor

Aisling O’Brien

School Editor

Yvette Ferrari

Web Editor

Nimo Wanjau

Contributing Editor Shunyi Correspondent Contributors

Editorial Consultant 编辑顾问 Director of Sales Department 广告发行经营部主任 Tel 电话 Legal Adviser 法律顾问 Advertising Agency 广告代理 Advertising Hotlines 广告热线 Printing 印刷

Sijia Chen Sally Wilson Ember Swift, Dr. George Hu, Melissa Rodriguez, Amari Zhang

ROBERT MILLER (Canadian) 罗伯特 · 米勒 (加拿大) XIA WEI 夏巍 5779 8877 LI XUESEN 李雪森 Immersion International Advertising (Beijing) Co., Limited 深度体验国际广告(北京)有限公司 5941 0368/69/72/77/78/79 TOPPAN LEEFUNG CHANGCHENG PRINTING (BEIJING) CO., LTD. 北京利丰雅高长城印刷有限公司

Address 本刊地址

WOMEN OF CHINA English Monthly 《中国妇女》英文月刊 15 Jianguomennei Dajie, Beijing 100730, China 中国北京建国门内大街15号 邮编:100730


ISSN1000 9388



The beijingkids Board A Publication of

True Run Media 出版制作

Lana Sultan

Lana Sultan has been in Beijing with her husband, son, and daughter since 2013. Prior to that, she lived in Saudi Arabia, the US, the UK, and Spain. Lana is the author of four children’s books and is currently working on her fifth. Contact her at or visit

Advertising Agency

Immersion International Advertising (Beijing) Co., Limited 广告代理


AJ Warner

When AJ Warner is not with his two sons, he’s coaching Chinese students on how to get admitted to the top 30 US universities. He also guides Chinese families through the process of sending their child to the US for high school and related homestays. Contact him at

Telephone/电话: 5779 8877 Advertising Hotlines/广告热线: 5941 0368/69/72/77/78/79

CEO and Founder Michael Wester Owner and Co-Founder Toni Ma

Mike Signorelli

Mike arrived in Beijing in 1994 as a student and has called China home ever since. He has held several senior management roles over the past 20+ years, including his last corporate job with NBA China. Mike is the founder of Signature Wine, China’s first independent subscription wine club. Contact him at

Managing Editor Aisling O’Brien School Editor Yvette Ferrari Web Editor Nimo Wanjau Contributing Editor Sijia Chen Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson Head of Marketing & Tobal Loyola Communications Brand/Communications Manager Tina Wang Art Director Susu Luo Production Manager Joey Guo Principal Designer and Illustrator Micky Pan Advertising Designer Yuki Jia Photographers Sui, Uni You

Sara Wramner-Wang

Over the past 20 years, Sara Wramner-Wang has worked in various senior management positions at companies like Ericsson, Ikea, and Oriflame. She is currently the director of sales and marketing and head of admissions for EF Academy International Boarding Schools’ Asia operations. Contact her at

Catherine Bauwens

Catherine Bauwens is a mother of two; Robin (age 6) and Coralie (4) who both attend Candian International School of Beijing (CISB). Bauwens is managing editor of the French magazine Pekin Infos, is working on a documentary movie (together with her husband), and writing a science-fiction novel.

Sales Director Ivy Wang Sales Team Coordinator Gladys Tang Sales Team Sheena Hu, Winter Liu, Sasha Zhang, Emma Xu, Veronica Wu, Olesya Sedysheva, Wilson Barrie IT Team Yan Wen, Arvi Lefevre Finance Judy Zhao, Vicky Cui HR & Admin Laura Su, Fengjuan Zhao

Eyee Hsu

When CCTV talk show host and mom-preneur Eyee Hsu is not chasing after her two kids or the family dog, you might catch her at a Pilates studio, one of the Counting Sheep boutiques, or on TV. Find out more about the baby and maternity retailer she co-founded at

Distribution Cao Zheng General Inquiries 5779 8877 Editorial 5779 5389/90

Distribution 5941 5387

Caroline Nath

Caroline Nath moved to Beijing as a teenager after having grown up in the US, Canada, France, and India. She is a filmmaker, radio host, Parent Effectiveness Training teacher, founder of Bonne Nani Jams, and an organic food promoter. She has two multi-ethnic and multi-lingual children. Contact her at

Contact: General information: Editorial: Sales: Marketing: Distribution: Directories: WeChat: beijingkids


beijingkids 2015 November

Celine Suiter

Celine Suiter has been an expat for the past 17 years; from South America to Asia via Europe. This is her second posting in Beijing where she lives with her husband and two children. She likes making new friends, trying new restaurants, and visiting new countries. She documents her crazy life in Beijing and beyond with a picture a day at

Want to Join?

If you think you’d make a valuable contribution to the beijingkids board, email


The Iris h coutn rysid


At an agricultural fair with my sisters, from left to right: Me (then age 5), Molly (then 13), and Siobhan (then 8).

Growth in Trade

photos: Aisling O’Brien, Wikimedia Commons


reland skipped the industrial revolution. While the 19th century saw the rest of Europe gear up and mechanize, its economy remained largely agricultural. Family farms and businesses are the cornerstones of Irish culture: their lower-tech, smaller-scale natures are major components of it’s unspoilt landscapes and tight-knit communities today. Like most Irish people our family had business owners and farmers in every generation. I grew up playing in my maternal grandmother’s sweet shop, and being hunted out of my maternal grandfather’s garage, (what American readers would call an auto-repair shop). My father’s parents were farmers, and although people may not automatically think of farmers as entrepreneurs, they are very much small business owners; taking risks, investing in their businesses, trying to judge the market, and producing what others want to buy. While I grew up in a depopulated, rural area, from my early teens onward, I was cheap labor surrounded by employment opportunities. Saturdays were often spent herding cattle and sheep, watering plants in glasshouses, or picking and weighing strawberries. Working and having responsibilities from an early age taught me the value of money and the importance of hard work. Finding part-time employment opportunities for teenagers in Beijing is practically impossible, whereas the experience of working for themselves, whether through a school project or independently is within the grasp of most teens here. We often think that entrepreneurs are born rather than made, but educational initiatives at The British School of Beijing Shunyi and Canadian International School of Beijing are focused on developing entrepreneurship through the classroom

(p38). We speak to young business owners Alyssa Lam, a student at Dulwich College Beijing (p54) and Jasmine Xie, a Saint Paul American School alumnus (p56) about the roots of their business acumen, while students from Beijing International Bilingual Academy ponder the causes of success (p42). We know that many of our new readers landed in Beijing just before the school term started; spending the last few months helping their families find their feet. Trailing and stay-at-home spouses tend to do the heavy lifting when it comes to settling the family into a new city: getting the kids into the school routine, finding the supermarket, the hospital, the best takeout, and making your house a home. While we’re not suggesting you’re ready to suit-up and start a business right now, get inspired by what others have accomplished. This month we hear from three moms who started their own, successful, businesses here in Beijing (p54).

Aisling O’Brien Managing Editor

November 2015 beijingkids


November Events 1




Tue, Nov 10

1 International Day

Wed, Nov 11

2 Community Open Morning at BSB Shunyi For adults. Tour the school’s facilities, talk to members of the faculty, learn about the curriculum, and get more information about the school. Registration required. Free. 8:30-11am. The British School of Beijing, BSB Shunyi (8047 3558

3 Distinguished Speaker Series: William Lindesay

Ages 8+. William Lindesay has lived in China for 25 years, all the while taking photographs of the Great Wall. In a personal walk down memory lane, Lindesay shares five major episodes that shaped his outlook on life and shows his photography archives. Free. 6-7.30pm. Western Academy of Beijing (5986 5588, Fri, Nov 13 HoK 9th Annual Family Lantern Walk All ages. Marking the feast day of Martin, HoK will host their 9th Annual Family Lantern Walk featuring a lantern walk, singalongs to traditional songs, and performances by students at the Chaoyang Park location. RMB 30 for transportation. Free to attend. 5-7pm. House of Knowledge International School and Kindergarten (6538 2624,


beijingkids 2015 November

Mon, Nov 16

4 Embassy House Bazaar

All ages. Shop for one of a kind jewelry, cashmere, candles, bags, mugs, scarves, and much more at this two-day bazaar (November 16-17). This location will also be a drop off point for Roundabout during the event. All table fees go to support Roundabout. Free. 10am-4pm. Embassy House Foyer (136 5134 6314, Tue, Nov 17 China Talks - China and its Neighbours For adults. In a two-part series workshop, BSB invites China expert Monqiue Groeneveld to share her insights on the topic “China and its Neighbours” on November 17 and 24. Registration required. Limited space. RMB 100. 9am-noon. The British School of Beijing, Shunyi ( Thu, Nov 19 Why Children Bully For adults. Bullying consultant, Robert Pereira is back to assist parents in understanding why children are targeted

photos: Jewelry evocateur, Karen roe (Flickr) and courtesy of BSb and William Lindesay

All ages. BSB Sanlitun’s gym transforms into an exhibition hall where families can tour the ‘Visiting Countries of the World.’ Free. 9am-3pm. The British School Beijing, Sanlitun (8532 3088)

Sat, Nov 14 Schoolhouse Partner’s Table Dinner For adults. An intimate dinner limited to 12 guests with canapés, a set menu, and wine pairing, from the Brickyard Kitchen. Registration required. RMB 368 per person. 7-9pm. The Brickyard Inn and Retreat Center at Mutianyu Great Wall (6162 6506, info@

events ESSENTIALS Editor’s Pick








5 by other children, and why your own child might engage in bullying behaviors. Registration required. Lunch not provided. RMB 200. 9am-2.30pm. 3e International School ( Fri, Nov 20

5 YCIS Beijing Presents: Back to the 80s…


The Totally Awesome Musical! Ages 7+. Try and stop yourself from jumping up and dancing to the 80s classics as YCIS’s drama students bring the graduating class of William Ocean High School to Beijing. Performances are November 20 at 7pm and 21 at 2pm. Registration required. Free. 2-7pm. Yew Chung International School of Beijing ( Sat, Nov 21

6 WAB Charity Bazaar

photoS: courtesy of YCIS and WAB

All ages. WAB’s parent-led Charity Link puts together one of the largest charity winter bazaars with unique and original products on sale. Local and international charities stalls will be present to help raise funds for various projects. Free. Western Academy of Beijing (5986 5588)

November 2015 beijingkids


November Events 7




7 Christmas Fayre and German Market

Sun, Nov 22

8 Second Hand Flea Market

All ages. One man’s trash is another man’s treaure! Buy household or personal items such as winter shoes and vintage clothes at the flea market. Free entry. 11am-4pm. Culture Yard (8404 4166) The Very Gift Christmas Fair All ages. Get your hands on local handcrafts, food, music, mulled wine, and more. This is going to be a Roundabout charity drop off point. Free. Noon-6pm. Homeplate Crossbounderies Architects ( Tue, Nov 24 PAL Workshop: Social Networking and Responsible Tech Use For adults. With kids spending more and more of their lives online, this workshop focuses on understanding the ever-evolving world of social networking, cyberbullying, use of


beijingkids 2015 November

personal technology, and more. Identification documents needed to gain entry. Registration required. Free. 8.45-10.15am. Beijing City International School ( Thu, Nov 26 Brickyard Thanksgiving at the Great Wall 2015 All ages. An overnight stay at the Brickyard Inn includes transfer to/from Beijing, a superior queen Great Wall view room, traditional Thanksgiving feast, and breakfast for two. Registration required. RMB 2,388. 3pm-10pm. The Brickyard Inn and Retreat Center at Mutianyu Great Wall (6162 6506,

9 The Schoolhouse Traditional

American Thanksgiving All ages. Feast on roast turkey with all the trimmings served family style, plus dessert buffet and live jazz at the Brickyard Inn. With a kid’s playroom supervised by a professional teacher. A reprise dinner will be held on November 28. Transport from Beijing downtown available. Advance tickets only. RMB 388 (adults), RMB 158 (Kids age 4-18 and university students with ID), free (kids 4 and under). 5-8pm. The Brickyard Inn and Retreat Center at Mutianyu Great Wall ( YCIS Beijing Information Session For adults. Prospective parents have a chance to meet-and-greet

photoS: carolyn wyn, janitors, and sanfranannie (Flickr), and courtesy of DCB

at BSB Shunyi All ages. Get into the festive mood listening to musical performances by BSB’s student choirs and orchestras while you shop this fayre and German market for the perfect holiday gift. Lots of kids’ activities available. Free. 4-7.30pm. The British School of Beijing, Shunyi (8047 3588)



Want your family-friendly event to appear in our next issue? Upload it at by November 13.




photos: besucher, chinese mexatin (flickr) and courtesy of BCIS and BSB

teachers and staff, tour the school’s facilities, and learn about the curriculum from Early Childhood Education, Primary, and Secondary School. Registration required. 10am-noon. Yew Chung International School of Beijing ( Fri, Nov 27

10 DCB Senior School Production

Presents Romeo & Juliet Ages 7+. Seniors put a modern spin on the Shakespearean classic set against an urban backdrop at the school’s Wodehouse Theatre. Ticket information to be confirmed. Registration required. 7-9pm. Dulwich College Beijing ( Sat, Nov 28

11 The German Christmas Charity Bazaar

All ages. Shop and eat traditional German handicrafts and delicacies at the annual Christmas bazaar. All proceeds go to various charitable causes. Passport or Chinese national ID will be required to gain entry. Free. 11am-6pm. German Embassy (contact@,

12 MCF and BCIS Present the 2015 Christmas Bazaar

All ages. To help you gear up for the festive season, enjoy an afternoon of games, shopping, food, and live performances by various bands and choirs. Free. 11am-3pm. Beijing City International School (8771 7171)


Sun, Nov 29

13 Christmas Fayre

All ages. Shop, eat, and mingle at the British themed BSB Sanlitun Fayre which features plenty of food and artisan vendors, games, and performances for the whole family. Free. 10.30am-3pm. The British School of Beijing, Sanlitun (8532 3088) ONGOING Editing and Postproduction For adults. Do you have gigabytes of raw photos you want to touch up? This class teaches the use of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software to edit, enhance, organize, and export photos to a gallery. This two-day class will be held on November 16-17 and again on 23-24. A minimum of four people must register for the class to take place. Registration required. RMB 1,500. 6.308.30pm. Atelier (6416 1614, 132 4018 4908, 5686 4243)

14 Chinese Characters Courses

Ages 5+. These short courses are tailored to introduce Chinese characters. From reading, writing, stroke order, and types of characters in the basic course, to the history of commonly used characters in the advanced course. The courses begin November 19, basic class on Mondays and Thursdays and the advanced classes on Tuesdays and Fridays. Registration required. RMB 1,400 (non-Culture Yard students), RMB 800 (Culture Yard students). 11am-12.50pm. Culture Yard (8404 4166,

November 2015 beijingkids



SAY HELLO TO BEIJING’S SMALLEST Want to share your new arrival with our readers? Email a photo (at least 1MB in size) of your little one with their full name, nationality, birth date, hospital, and parents’ names to Due to space constraints, we will only publish photos of babies born in Beijing after February 1, 2015.

Mikel Shacked

Elsie Catherine McPhail

Meirav and Israeli. Born Sep 17 to at d cke Sha Yair Hospital. Beijing United Family

American. Born May 19 to Kelly Kidder and Brian Long McPhail at Beijing United Family Hospital.

Ruize Wang

Chunyu Liu Chinese. Born May 6 to at ng Wa and Hongwei Maternity tal, spi Ho 1st y Peking Universit and Child.


beijingkids 2015 November

John Alic Shook

American. Born July 2 to Rebecca McCoy and Mike Shook at OASIS International Ho spital.

Tang Chao

Chinese. Born Mar 30 to Huang Xiaohong and Mike Ch ao at Beijing Anzhen Hospital.


Meet the Coach: Peter Tupper by Sally Wilson

Peter Tupper (left) with staff and students at an Imagine.’s summer camp


eter Tupper manages the multi-activity company Imagine. From the UK, he has been living in Beijing for the past four years, and during this time has launched an array of after school activities, adventure camps, a choir, and the infamous bubble football matches. What do you coach? S k i i ng, s now boarding, rol le r blading, sailing, and kayaking. I also coach the kids at our Survival Camps, Knight School, Pirate Parties, and Trash Bash.

photo: Courtesy of Imagine.

How long have you been coaching? Eight years. What made you become interested in coaching as a profession? The chance to turn my passions into a lifestyle! What coaching qualifications do you have? Three levels of ski and snowboard instructing qualifications from Austria.

What was your favorite sport to play when you were a student? My life at university revolved around running the snowboard club, coaching the team, and arranging for us to attend championship events in France and Scotland. I loved it so much I wanted to bring similar experiences to people here in China! How would you describe your coaching style? Imaginative! I think like a kid when I’m with kids, so games and funny activities seem to spring to mind in the middle of lessons. Having said that, lessons are always based around the framework of the handbooks we’ve designed for the various Imagine. activities. What do you find most rewarding about coaching? I like to think about the effect that everything we do will have on kids as they grow up. Will there be one sentence or skill or thought that sticks with them and influences their future in a big way? That gives us a reason to think

about how we organize, act, and speak in everything we do. And most challenging…? I manage the Imagine. company when I’m not coaching, so increasingly it becomes a challenge to focus on each session, when there are many other aspects to think about. Luckily, our team of coaches is rapidly growing. I enjoy putting systems in place to ensure the activities meet certain standards for safety, fun, and education. This way, we can be sure to bring joy to more kids, no matter which coach goes on the day!

To contact Peter Tupper, call 5739 4933, e-mail, or visit the website

November 2015 beijingkids


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN BEIJING BJU Welcomes Lucia Lešková Dr. Lucia Lešková has joined the staff at Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics (BJU). Dr. Lešková received her medical degree from First Faculty of Medicine Charles University Prague in 2002 after studying on multiple scholarships in Slovakia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. With over 13 years of clinical experience, before joining BJU, Dr. Lešková practiced at Canadian Medical Care in Prague as a general pediatrician and expert in pediatrics hemato-oncology.

CISB’s 10th Annual School Wide Photo On September 15 Canadian International School of Beijing’s (CISB’s) 1,032 students, 234 teachers and staff, Board of Directors and special guest, Judy Ross of Projects Abroad, gathered on the school field to take their 10th annual school wide photo.

YCIS Beijing’s Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) Fair Provides Students with Achievement Opportunities

Hoop Dreams: HISB welcomes new basketball Head Coach Harrow International School of Beijing (HISB) prides itself on its excellent athletics programs, which include a top-notch basketball team. This year they welcome new Head Coach Nahtral Morgan, who will bring his experience playing, coaching, and mentoring both in the US and China as he leads Harrow to take on the competition from around the city.


beijingkids 2015 November

photos: Courtesy of cisb, bju, hisb, and YCIS

On September 22, Year 11 and 12 students at Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS Beijing) met with representatives from local and global organizations at a school-hosted CAS Fair, providing students with opportunities to get involved with a variety of projects in different communities. With over 20 different local and school-led groups present during the event, there were volunteer prospects for students of every interest. CAS is an integral part of each student’s IB curriculum; students must fulfill this requirement in order to graduate with their IB diploma. Students glean valuable and irreplaceable experiences from their involvement with these organizations.

NOTICEBOARD LIVING Want your news to appear in our next issue? Email it along with a high-res photo (at least 1MB) to by November 13.

WAB Makerspace Expands to Include Middle School Students After a successful first year with Grade 3 to 5 students, Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) will expand its Makerspace to involve Middle School students and offer the program throughout the duration of the school year. Makerspace is a club that gives students the opportunity to design and collaborate on creative projects, such as building robots.

HoK Becomes Beijing’s First Official Trilingual Kindergarten In September, House of Knowledge International School and Kindergarten (HoK) was awarded their education license from the Chaoyang Education Bureau, becoming the first official Trilingual kindergarten in Beijing.

British Ambassador’s Visit to DCB

photos: Courtesy of wab, hok, dcb, and keystone

On Wednesday, September 9, Dulwich College Beijing students met Her Majesty’s British Ambassador to China, Ms. Barbara Woodward. The purpose of her visit was to launch the Inspiring Women campaign in China. During the event, Woodward delivered a speech to senior school students in which she talked about her role and the significance of this campaign.

Keystone Students Learn from the Future in Russia Nine students from Grades 9 and 10 traveled to Moscow for five days over the October national holidays for a math and science tour. The Moscow trip, led by middle and high school math teacher Yang Zhaohui, is part of Keystone Academy’s Experiential Learning Program. Students visited and learned from the faculty at Moscow State University, Moscow State Pedagogical University, and Moscow Aviation Institute. Students were able to perform experiments and visit top-secret labs to understand research that is years ahead of their time, providing an exhilarating peek into the future for students.

November 2015 beijingkids


UrbanCoolKids aims to keep kids protected by Aisling O’Brien, with additional reporting by Amari Zhang

photos: Courtesy of Genevieve Co See


beijingkids 2015 July November



rbanCoolKids is an online store which stocks imported products for children, including Thudguard, a range of British safety helmets for children, and WeeRide, an American children’s bike seats brand. UrbanCoolKids is the exclusive distributor for both companies in China. Filipina Genevieve Co See, managing partner of UrbanCoolKids, has lived in China for eight years, first moving to Beijing for her husband’s work. Nowadays due to school and work commitments, she divides her time between Shanghai and Beijing. Co See started the company in 2011, acquiring the Thudguard license after observing daughter Alexa’s minor accidents as she learned to walk. On vacation abroad, Co See saw the Thudguard hat on sale. “I know that bumps and bruises are part of growing up, but I wanted my child to be safe from a potentially irreversible severe head injury,” she says. “I loved that I could watch her from a distance, and relax or complete household chores. As an added bonus I saw that with more freedom, she got more exercise and her motor skills improved much faster.” As Alexa has grown up, the products Co See distributes have grown alongside her. UrbanCoolKids added the center-mounted WeeRide Kangaroo bike seat to their range of products, because the family loved to go on bike rides and didn’t want to place their young daughter on a rear-mounted seat. “With the WeeRide Kangaroo, we could seat her in front, safely between our arms, and easily talk to her during rides,” says Co See. Now that Alexa is older, she has outgrown the WeeRide

Kangaroo seat and instead enjoys long bike rides with her parents on the WeeRide Co-pilot. The Thudguard hat retails for RMB 368, WeeRide Kangaroo for RMB 788, and the WeeRide Co-pilot is RMB 1,050.

UrbanCoolKids (

November 2015 beijingkids


Celebrate birthdays in style at little oasis by Sijia Chen

photos: Courtesy of little oasis


beijingkids 2015 November



sk any downtown family and they’ll tell you that the CBD has a dearth of child-friendly indoor spaces. Sure, malls like The Place have play centers but these tend to get dirty and overcrowded on weekends. They’re also not conducive to unwinding or getting to know other families. The need for a safe, clean, and welcoming downtown space is what led New Zealand-raised mom Jennifer Ma to start little oasis (all lowercase), a “lifestyle club” for families with kids aged 0-6 in the new children’s wing of Parkview Green. She wanted a center where parents wouldn’t just drop off their kids for a few hours but instead stay, relax, and spend quality time together. To this end, little oasis’ facilities include a central air purifier system, a cafe with healthy snacks and imported tea, a massage and nail salon, a classroom for children’s and adults’ programs, a golf simulation room, and a main room with a baby corner, play house, a mini-library, and soft padded seating. When we toured little oasis in April, we were struck by the modernistic climbing structure that forms the centerpiece of the indoor playground. The architects are Luckey Climbers, an American company founded by Thomas Luckey in 1985 and now run by his son, Spencer. Luckey climbers can be found in public spaces and children’s museums all over the the US as well as Mexico and Ireland. The specially-commissioned little oasis climber took 505 hours to complete and involved 45 people in the design and installation process. The structure contains nearly 6,450m of mesh cable and 22,000 j-clips (a type of clip-on assembly nut) installed by hand and filed down for safety. In Beijing, another Luckey climber sits within the China National

Children’s Center near Beihai Park. Though membership to little oasis is by invitation or application only, the venue is open for private events and birthday parties. little oasis offers complete event planning services with customized theme decorations, catering, cake, entertainment, and more. Families have the option of bringing their own cake, catering, and entertainment but a service fee equivalent to 20 percent of the venue fee will be charged. The center can accommodate large parties, with different venue fees charged for groups of 1-50 people and 50-75 people. An extra entry fee will be charged for each guest at events with over 75 people. Maximum capacity is around 100 people. On average, a party for up to 30 families with a customized theme, activities, catering, cake, photographer, and venue would cost RMB 15,000-20,000. There are plans to launch “Brunch and Play” and “Dinner and Play” events combining revolving food themes and family activities. To stay up-to-date, follow little oasis on WeChat at littleoasis01. See our interview with Jennifer Ma on p52.

little oasis 小绿洲 Playground access costs RMB 160 for two hours. The top-up card option (RMB 500, RMB 1,000 or RMB 2,000) offers varying discounts. Daily 10am-8pm. L3-02, 3/F, Bldg B, Parkview Green, 9 Dongdaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (8563 0400) 朝阳区东大桥 路9号芳草地B座L3-02

November 2015 beijingkids



Canadian Vanessa Gauthier glams up at Evolve by Aisling O’Brien

photos: Uni You


Gauthier shows off her new2015 look beijingkids


Indulge LIVING

Get the Look:

Guathier, pre-makeover

Evolve Daily 10am-8pm. Shop 6, Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center, Liangmaqiao Road 50, Chaoyang District (8451 1877) 北京市朝阳区亮马桥路50号凯宾斯基饭店北京燕莎中心,商店6

Liu lops 4cm off the ends of Gauthier’s hair, layers her bob, thinning and shaping her sideswept fringe. He advises Gauthier to push her hair toward her part as she blow-dries it to gain volume, and to apply product to the ends only.



Product List • MAC Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation in NC15 and NC30 • MAC Select SPF 15 Foundation in NC25 • Guerlain Meteorite Pearls Illuminating Powder Pure Radiance 03 • Shu Uemura Glitter Beige #821, Matte Dark Brown #896, and Matte Medium Brown #863 • Benefit Waterproof liner in Black • Benefit They’re Real mascara in Black • Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 05 and 06

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Liu blends a blue based toner and applies it to Gauthier’s hair. He follows the color with a treatment to add hydration and shine and seal in the color. v



anessa Gauthier moved with her family to Beijing 15 months ago. She is a stay-at-home-mother, homeroom parent at Western Academy of Beijing (WAB), and a member of Charity Link. Gauthier lives in Liangmaqiao, together with her husband Daniel Nadeau, head of IT section at the Canadian Embassy, daughter Amelia (age 8), and son Griffin (age 6) who both attend WAB. beijingkids couldn’t have picked a more convenient location for Gauthier’s makeover; Evolve, the new salon at the Kempinski Center is directly across the street from where she lives. Today Gauthier is in the capable hands of Master Stylist Kristoffer Liu who trained first as a makeup artist in Sweden, then as a hairdresser in London, before coming to Beijing. After working at several salons, he founded Evolve just last month. The cut consultation is straightforward: both Gauthier and Liu agree on a layered bob, “I’m open to going as short as Kris likes,” says Gauthier. Color is a little more complicated. Gauthier explains she twice suffered an allergic reaction to her usual brown hair dye last summer. Traditional hair color causes her painful scalp inflammation. “I had to switch to natural dye, so I began using henna,” she explains. Gauthier doesn’t enjoy her current shade: in sunlight its red tones are brighter than the deep chocolate brown she prefers. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to process salon color after a henna application, because other dyes can’t easily penetrate through its coating on the follicle. Liu instead aims to temporarily tone the color. “Blue is orange’s opposite on the color spectrum so it will calm down the henna,” he says. Gauthier loves the more natural dark-brown Liu achieves today, however temporarily. “It looks more like me,” she says.

Liu brushes on a blend of three shades of foundation to match Gauthier’s skin. “I keep a light touch with product,” he says, “You shouldn’t cover the face, only put it where it needs to go.” He sweeps on translucent powder, before applying a pale silver shade to the inner eye and brown bone. He layers champagne gold, medium brown, and dark brown shadow over the lid, crease, and lash line, lines the eye in black, and finishes with a coat of mascara. He then lines the lips and slicks on a blend of two glosses.

November 2015 beijingkids


HEALTH THE NATURAL PATH Got a question? Dr. Melissa Rodriguez is a naturopathic doctor and mother of two, who works at Beijing United Family Hospital. To find out more, check out her website at www.

Ironing Out the Problem


o you crave ice to chew or have the urge to eat dirt? Are you looking particularly pale as of late? Do you have a swollen tongue that feels sore? Don’t worry, you’re not weird! You may just have iron deficiency. According to the World Health Organization iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood to the different tissues of our body, and is also needed for many cellular functions. Restless legs, (when your legs feel uncomfortably “antsy”, like you have to move them constantly), can also indicate a deficiency in iron. Other common symptoms of low iron include constantly feeling tired and fatigued, poor immunity, difficulty concentrating, shortness of breath or palpitations, dizziness, and brittle nails. If you are having trouble getting through your workouts this can also be a sign of low iron. Muscles in motion need an abundant oxygen supply, and when iron is low we just can’t supply them with enough.

Foods like beef and canned sardines are high in iron Our bodies are constantly using iron so we need to consume enough in our diet. Women lose iron every month through their menstrual cycle. We also lose iron through sweat, bruising, and jarring of internal organs. Some medical conditions like ulcers or colon cancer also cause the body to lose blood, and thus iron. Anemia is a condition when the iron stores have been depleted so much that the body cannot make enough red blood cells. A simple blood test can determine if you have iron deficiency anemia. It’s best to check with your doctor before supplementing with iron as too much iron can be toxic, especially for children. If you suspect you have low iron you could try including more iron rich foods in your diet. Foods like beef and canned sardines are high in iron, but there other good plant sources as well. Pumpkin seeds, cooked beans, and tofu are good sources as are dried apricots and dates. Believe it or not potatoes, broccoli, and leafy greens also have iron. Blackstrap molasses is naturally high in iron. I give it to my kids by dissolving a teaspoon in a glass of warm water. It tastes like sweet tea and they love it! If you test low in iron, your doctor will help you find out why. One reason may be gluten sensitivity. If you are sensitive to gluten, it can damage the lining of the digestive tract, which in turn inhibits the absorption of iron. If you do need to supplement with iron, take it separately from fiber, calcium, and coffee or tea which all limit absorption. It’s best to take iron with Vitamin C because it improves absorption. Foods high in vitamin C include kiwis, strawberries, tomatoes, oranges, and peppers.


beijingkids 2015 November

mind over matter


Need more info? Dr. George Hu is a clinical psychologist at Beijing United Family Hospital. He has worked extensively on issues such as adjustment, relationships, and stress. He can be reached at

The Discipline of Discipline


ne of the subjects I get asked about most often is discipline. Parents want to know how to address problem behaviors with their children in a way that is effective and does not damage their children emotionally. There is no one-size-fits-all answer: effective discipline usually changes depending in the age of your children. It’s also one of the most common things that couples with children fight about. See, you’re not alone! Nonetheless, I can offer some general insights to this very essential topic to raising children:

Make sure if you employ corporal punishment that it is a last resort 1. Discipline starts before discipline. The effectiveness of any technique depends on the strength of your relationship with your child. Trust is vital to how your child internalizes what is happening to them during the process of discipline. Your child must trust that you love them unconditionally and have their best interests in mind. This trust is built on a day-to-day basis, in big and small ways. Make sure that your child knows what type of behavior is expected in your household, and understands the consequences if those expectations are not upheld. The process of discipline should not be a mystery or decided “in the moment” by parents that are easily influenced by anger. Consequences for behavior should be decided beforehand and clearly communicated to your child. 2. When trying to discipline your child, try not to make statements such as “I’m doing this because I love you” or “This hurts me more than it hurts you”. Such statements are confusing. Also, try not to refer to your child as “good” or “bad” by saying things like, “Good boys don’t do that.” The message children should receive is that your love for them is not conditional and not dependent on being good. 3. Make sure your child understands why they are being disciplined. Discipline is not effective if your child does not understand their behavior is not ok. Remember that discipline is about learning, not just behavior modification. 4. Try positive reinforcement. Reward behavior that is adaptive or helpful, instead of punishing behavior that is maladaptive. 5. Corporal punishment is complicated. Corporal punishment is not necessarily abusive, and there are plenty of ways non-corporal punishment can be abusive. However, make sure if you employ corporal punishment that it is a last resort, and that the punishment is about the child’s learning, not about your anger. 6. Reconcile the relationship. After discipline, ask the child to apologize to any parties that were wronged by their behavior, and make a gesture of reconciliation with your child, such as a hug.

November 2015 beijingkids


Race to the Finish The final lap of pregnancy


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t’s the kind of shocking tabloid front-page that stops you in your tracks: “Woman Gives Birth in Speeding Mercedes.” But behind the lurid, attention-grabbing headline, the Happrich family’s story has relevance for all parents. It’s certainly an extreme situation, one you’ll hopefully never find yourself in, and probably unlikely to be repeated in our community. But like all boundary cases, it can teach us something about the importance of preparing for the worst, and hoping for the best. Even if the worst turns out to be delivering in the back of a car! Preparing for birth isn’t just about what you hope will go right; it’s also about contingency planning for what can go wrong. The more informed the couple, the more comprehensive their understanding, the less frightening inevitable deviations from their blueprint will be, and the quicker they can adjust to shifting circumstances and adapt to the birth as it unfolds. Kerstin Happrich tells beijingkids the incredible story of her daughter Anni’s birth, and her Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN) Dr. Alejandra Mora of International SOS explains how couples can best prepare for pregnancy’s checkered-flag.


by Aisling O’Brien

Anni’s Birth


beijingkids 2015 November

my previous experience I thought the birth would take hours, so I finished my shower and then we packed. I thought I would need distractions,” she laughs. Dirk even loaded a huge yoga ball into their company car, an E-Class Mercedes. The Happrichs timed the contractions, and knew they needed to go to BJU, without grasping how little time they had to accomplish that. Dirk dropped Ella into a neighbor’s house. Outside in the passenger seat of their Mercedes, a sharp pain overwhelmed Kerstin. “I was experiencing intense pains every 30 seconds to 1 minute. I didn’t realize they were delivery contractions,” she says. “It took us around 15 minutes to get out of our house, and 5 minutes to drop off Ella. I never expected that leaving my neighbors’ I was 10 minutes away from giving birth!” Kerstin felt that something was badly wrong. Before they drove away she switched to the back seat. From there she urged Dirk to drive faster. “But he was already driving as fast as he could,” she says. “I thought I wouldn’t

survive the pain, and I had no idea what to do. I was trying to work against the contractions and hold the baby until we reached the hospital.” Fortunately the words of a midwife from an antenatal class she took came back to her. “She had said that you should never fight contractions; you should always go with them, no matter what.” Ella’s car seat was still fitted in the back seat, and prevented Kerstin from lying down. Holding onto the handle above the door, with one leg over the car seat and one in the foot well, she began working with the pain. Meanwhile, driving at speed, Dirk’s frantic phone calls to BJU introduced a note of black comedy. As he anxiously sought advice and support, the receptionist, clearly not understanding the urgency and gravity of their situation, repeatedly asked for Kerstin’s birth date

photo: Courtesy of victoria boland, Kerstin and Dirk Happrich, and International SOS


he Happrich family moved to Beijing from Stuttgart, Germany in 2012 for work. They brought with them their daughter Ella (now age 4) and wanting to give her a sibling, became pregnant again in late 2013 with their daughter Anni (now 1). During her pregnancy, Kerstin saw Dr. Mora at International SOS, and decided to give birth at Beijing United Family Hospital (BJU). First time births generally last 6-18 hours and subsequent births are generally between 2-10 hours. Older sister Ella’s birth had been a little protracted and required medical intervention; although Kerstin’s water broke, she felt no contractions, and after 12 hours she was induced. Anni’s birth was her sister’s diametric opposite: the whole labor lasted a mere 30 minutes. Kerstin woke on the morning of August 13, 2014 at around 5am. “There was some water, and I thought, ‘It’s going to start.’ In the shower I felt a little pain, but I was grateful that I was feeling contractions, unlike Ella’s birth,” she says. Having no way of knowing how foreshortened the birth would be, the Happrichs were not particularly rushed or hurried in their movements. “I wasn’t worried. From


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so she could check their insurance details. “It was like a horror movie,” says Kerstin. “We both felt totally helpless. As I was fighting pain, they asked him five times for the insurance information.” While on the phone, Dirk looked over his shoulder and was startled to see the baby crowning. “I am a modern person, and I automatically thought I had to give birth in a hospital, with a doctor, or the baby would die,” says Kerstin. “But there is no way to fight the forces of nature. We should’ve pulled over earlier, but there was no time to think, and no one to guide us. Our preprogrammed target was to reach the hospital.” In the still speeding Mercedes, the remarkable moment of delivery arrived. “Anni jumped out,” says Kerstin. “Thank God I was wearing a skirt. The material caught her and prevented her from falling off the seat into the foot well. Suddenly there was a blue baby lying there, curled in a ball like a hedgehog.”

November 2015 beijingkids



Preparing for Birth

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beijingkids 2015 November


lS r. Mora trained as a doctor and na io t OB/GYN in her native Venezuela na er where she gained experience in emergency, inpatient, and outpatient settings. Most recently she was a field doctor with Medicins San Frontiers in rural Zambia, before coming to Beijing to work at International SOS three years ago. Dr. Mora emphasizes that much of the preparation necessary for birth happens gradually as pregnancy progresses. Informing the woman of the physiological changes her body is undergoing, which indicate that she will be physically prepared for labor, helps women develop confidence and is a key part of antenatal consultations. “None of this is rocket science, and we’ve been doing it for millennia,” says Dr. Mora. Basic birth preparations for parents-to-be include having the aforementioned regular antenatal consultations, reading up on pregnancy and delivery, setting money aside, sleeping as much as they can, exercising, and eating healthily. Another common way to prepare – one as old as humanity itself – is talking to other parents, and hearing their stories, experience, and guidance on managing the challenges of labor, birth, and early parenting. Dr. Mora stresses that although anecdotal informachildbirth. The formalized process of defining tion is useful, it’s not always representaa plan provides an opportunity for women to tive. “One woman’s easy nine months discuss with their hospital, doctors, partners, should not mean that a woman who relatives, or friends what supports they need. struggles with vomiting the whole It helps women to be actively involved in first trimester should worry, and decision-making, and in setting expectations vaginal delivery is not superior for what will happen during labor and delivery. to C-sections,” she says. “Each “Obviously, nothing can be set in stone,” says woman and each pregnancy is Dr. Mora. “It is a living document which can be different. But there will be comupdated as circumstances change.” monalities too.” A typical plan might discuss pain manIt’s also important for women agement and whether to use an epidural; to discuss their needs with their what the parameters will be for scheduling partners in advance, and that parta C-section; and the environment – who and ners listen rather than assume. “You what will be present. “All of this, of course, would be surprised how many couples must be done within the guidelines of what is have not had a frank and open discusmedically safe and appropriate,” says Dr. Mora. sion about these issues,” Dr. Mora says. “We never put the mother or her baby at risk. As for packing, Dr. Mora says that although Plans are just plans. When labor starts, things it depends on the hospital and the woman, can change quickly.” in general, “not much is needed other than The ultimate goal is the same for every clothes for mother and baby, reading material, family: a healthy baby, and a healthy mother. music, patience, and a sense of humor. And Dr. Mora emphasizes that it’s important to maybe some diapers.” keep this in mind, rather than focusing heavily on birth plan specifics. “However, talking Birth Planning about these things beforehand and making a A birth plan identifies and sets out everything a plan is a very good way to minimize the risks woman needs to feel safe and confident during of misunderstandings,” she says.

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The Happrichs knew from an earlier ultrasound that the umbilical cord would be wrapped around Anni’s neck. Dirk pulled the car over to the side of the highway, and came to help unwind the cord. “He couldn’t reach from the door, so I took her and unwound it. Anni was breathing and making small sounds, so slippery I almost couldn’t hold her,” says Kerstin. “We didn’t try to cut the umbilical cord. We had had enough adventure for one day!” She wrapped Anni up to keep her warm, and the Happrichs resumed their drive to BJU. BJU staff were waiting in the hospital parking lot, and a nurse cut the cord in the car. Kerstin, who couldn’t walk, was stretchered into the hospital, and a nurse took the baby. “And from there, the story went on as usual,” says Kerstin. Because Anni’s birth was fast, Kerstin suffered almost no tearing. She delivered the afterbirth, as staff washed and checked Anni, who weighed in at a bouncing 3.5kg, and had suffered no ill effects from the location (or velocity) of her makeshift labor room. Kerstin and Anni spent the next three days in the comfort of the hospital. “Anni is a healthy, peaceful little girl, who loves to smile,” says Kerstin. “Now I can laugh about it and it’s just a story to tell.” And what a story!

Maternity Hospitals Beijing HarMoniCare Women and Children’s Hospital (HMC) 北京和美妇儿医院 Daily 8am-5pm (hospital hours), daily 5-10pm (pediatrics evening hours). A2 Xiaoguan Beili, Beiyuan Lu, Chaoyang District (6499 0000, 朝阳区北苑路小关北里甲2号 Beijing United Family Hospital (BJU) 北京和睦家医院 Daily 9am-5pm. 2 Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang District (5927 7000, 24hr emergency: 5927 7120) 朝阳区将台路2号 OASIS International Hospital 北京明德医院 Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 8.30am-12.30am, daily 24hr emergency care. 9 Jiuxianqiao Beilu, Chaoyang District, Chaoyang District (400 UR OASIS) 朝阳区酒仙桥北路9号

Outpatient Antenatal Care International SOS 北京国际救援中心 Daily 8am-8pm. Suite 105, Wing 1, Kunsha Building, 16 Xinyuanli, Chaoyang District (6462 9112, 24hr hotline 6462 9100, https:// 朝阳区新源里16号琨莎中心1座105室

Dr. Mora’s Recommended Resources: Books: Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy by experts at the Mayo Clinic What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff Websites:

Kerstin and Anni Hap


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November 2015 beijingkids


A Real Gem Contemporary Cantonese at Crystal Jade text by Sally Wilson, photos by C.M. Studio


Julius Cheung (age 7) tucks2015 into hisNovember noodles beijingkids

Dining Out DINING

Xiaolongbao (RMB 26)


eijing’s second branch of the Singaporean-based chain, Crystal Jade, has opened in Indigo Mall. Crystal Jade La Mian and Xiaolongbao serves up authentic Cantonese cuisine, with a contemporary twist. Dim Sum dishes include spring rolls, pork buns, dumplings, and xiaolongbao, with innovative fillings such as foie gras and ginseng. Some of the more popular dishes are from the wide selection of seafood, such as deep-fried mandarin fish with sweet and sour sauce and pine nuts, and sautéed shrimp with long jing tea leaf. There is no separate kids’ menu, but plenty of enticing dishes to please the palate of younger diners. The fully bilingual menu comes with pictures and chili spice indicators, to help everyone choose their favorites. Kids will enjoy the pan-fried Shanghai pork buns (RMB 24), sweet and sour pork loin (RMB 48), egg fried rice (RMB 42), and sautéed rice cakes (RMB 42). Our hungry diner is 7-year-old Julius Cheung, a Grade 2 student at Western Academy Beijing. Julius has been living in Beijing for six years. One of his favorite foods is burgers, but today Julius samples steamed Shanghai xiaolongbao (RMB 26) and cheese xiaolongbao (RMB 32), claypot braised meat with kelp and potato (RMB 52), sautéed bean curd with shrimp (RMB 52), and la mian with minced pork and vegetable wonton soup (RMB 38). Julius loves the Shanghai xiaolongbao, the tender filling steeped in a tasty savory soup all wrapped up in delicate skins. The shrimps are big and juicy, the sautéed bean curd full of flavor, making for a great dish for kids. Crystal Jade’s la mian dishes offer up a mound of perfect handmade noodles. Swimming in delicious wonton soup, the minced pork version is a huge hit! To quench his thirst, Julius enjoys a refreshing watermelon juice (RMB 20) and samples the lemon tea (RMB 16). The restaurant seats 65 with “al fresco” seating indoors, but underneath the Indigo solarium. The restaurant has a great atmosphere, and service is fast and efficient. It gets busy, especially at lunchtimes, so arrive early to ensure a table. Alternatively, you can make use of their take-out service. The chef is happy to prepare dishes to suit special dietary requirements where possible. Family-friendly facilities: The restaurant is non-smoking throughout. There are ample high chairs available. The mall has several clean, Western-style bathrooms with soap and toilet paper. Kids can run around and enjoy the big indoor space opposite, or head to the outside playground.

Crystal Jade 翡翠拉面小笼包 Daily 11am-9.30pm L1-25, Indigo Mall, 18 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (6184 1627) 朝阳区酒仙桥路18号颐提港L1-25

November 2015 beijingkids


Hot Legs

Spicy chicken with the Nair family text by Aisling O’Brien, Chinese translation by Abby Wang



From left to right: Sparsh (age 11),November Yash (14), Sukkesh, and Sonia Nair beijingkids 2015

photos: UNI YOU

hen we reach the lobby of the Indian-born Nair family’s Wanjing apartment, we’re greeted by younger son Sparsh (age 11), handsome in his shiny midnight-blue suit. He ushers us upstairs to meet dad Sukesh, mom Sonia, and older brother Yash (14), and we can’t help noticing that everyone in the family is looking super sharp today. Sparsh and Yash attend Beijing World Youth Academy, conveniently located near the family home. Sukesh, who is manager of after sales consultants for BMW, has been in China for 20 years, in various roles across the BMW retail and wholesale networks. Today, he is acting head chef, ably assisted by Sparsh. Sukesh’s joke that the boys do all the cooking in this house is quickly cast into doubt by Sonia’s watchful hovering, and helpful tips. “Don’t let it burn,” she laughs. Sonia, who substitute teaches for many international schools in Beijing, originally came to China on a scholarship to Beijing Language and Culture University, for an advanced program in Chinese language and literature. She and Sukesh met at an embassy event 15 years ago, and have made their life in China since, living in Shanghai, Dalian, Chongqing, Chengdu, and now Beijing. Over an Indian spiced-tea, and the delicious chicken legs, we chat about how much Beijing and Wangjing in particular have changed in the decades the Nairs have been here. This dish is simple to make; not too spicy, tender, crispy, and delicious. “It’s a typical Indian marinade, like that used for Tandoor dishes,” says Sonia. “We didn’t make it very spicy for you, but when we make it for ourselves, we make it red.” So if you like it hot, double the chili powder in this recipe!

Food for Thought DINING Quick Indian-Style Chicken Ingredients 成分 4 chicken legs 4只鸡腿 1 tsp chili powder 1茶匙辣椒粉 ½ an onion, coarsely chopped 半颗洋葱,切碎 ½ cup coriander leaves 1/2杯香菜叶 ¼ cup mint leaves 1/4杯薄荷叶 6 tbsp yoghurt 6汤匙酸奶 3 tbsp flour 3汤匙面粉

1 tbsp Garam Masala (Indian five spice powder) 1汤匙姆马 萨拉(印度五香粉) 1 tbsp ginger paste 1汤匙姜蓉 3 minced garlic cloves 3个蒜瓣 Salt (to taste) 盐(适量) Oil (for frying) 油(煎炸用)

Instructions 做法 1

2. Combine the remaining ingredients (except for the oil) into a smooth paste. 各种调料(除油 之外)混合成均匀的糊状料汁。 3. Pour the paste over the chicken legs and rub into the meat. 将 鸡腿和调料均匀混合。 4. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes. 腌制至少30 分钟。 5. Heat oil in a frying pan to a medium heat. 在煎锅中加热油。 6. Place the marinated chicken in the pan; pour the marinade over the chicken. 将腌制好的鸡 腿放入煎锅中,余下的调料汁也 一同倒入。

1. Rinse the chicken. 将鸡腿洗净。



7. When one side becomes golden brown, turn the chicken leg. Both sides should look nicely fried and crispy. 当一面鸡腿 煎至金黄色时翻面, 两面煎炸至熟即可 出锅。

November 2015 beijingkids


Turkey and Trimmings Everything you need for a Thanksgiving dinner by Sally Wilson


hanksgiving dinner is a ritual: most Americans would say one incomplete without turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and gravy. Other commonly-served dishes include sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn-onthe-cob, green beans, and of course pumpkin pie. You don’t have to be American to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast, and Beijing has everything you need to enjoy it homemade or catered.

Do-It-Yourself The majority of Beijing’s international supermarkets and butchers will have turkeys for sale over the coming months. Be sure to order super early, as fowl will fly off the shelves as the big day approaches. Most turkeys are sold frozen, so allow plenty of time for them to defrost before cooking. April Gourmet sells imported turkeys from RMB 65/kg as well as a selection of hams. Some branches have ready-made pumpkin and apple pies at the deli counter. BHG Market Place has frozen imported turkeys from RMB 60/kg. Boucherie Michel sell imported US turkeys for around RMB 70/kg. They also have cooked turkeys from RMB 108/kg. City Shop sells frozen US Norbest turkeys from RMB 78/kg with sizes ranging from 5.5kg to a whopping 22kg. You’ll also find stove-top stuffing, cranberry sauce, and canned pumpkin. DDs Supermarket stocks pie crusts, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie filling. Jenny Lou’s and Jenny Wang’s sell most of the things you need for Thanksgiving, including frozen imported turkeys for RMB 68/kg, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pumpkin pie filling. Schindler’s Food Center sells frozen imported turkey from RMB 58/kg and local Chinese turkey for RMB 45-48/kg. It also stocks a range of hams, both boned and bone-in.


beijingkids 2015 November

photos: Liz, West, Laura and teo (flIckr)

TooToo Organic Farm sells frozen turkeys for RMB 680 per 5kg bird. Get RMB 100 off if you order before November 23. They also stock frozen cranberries at RMB 23.80 for a 200g box.

Turkey and Trimmings DINING

Catering For those who want to enjoy Thanksgiving at home without having to cook the whole shebang, there are several places that will happily do all the hard work for you. Some caterers deliver while others offer a pick-up option only. Culinary Capers offers grain-fed turkey, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, stuffing, gravy, and pumpkin pie. They also provide whole turkeys to roast at home. Early reservations needed. Call 6431 7199 or 6432 3899. Lily’s American Diner delivers whole roasted US imported turkeys for RMB 109/kg. Sides are RMB 25 per person, and include homemade stuffing, mashed potato, sweet potato, vegetables, cranberry sauce, and gravy. From November 26-29, you can also have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at all three Lily’s locations for RMB 159 per adult (including glass of wine) and RMB 119 per child (including soft drink or juice). Contact 131 4642 7090 or 136 8152 4886 for details or visit Village Café at The Opposite House has a bunch of Thanksgiving goodies that are either oven-ready or ready to serve, including ready to roast turkeys (ranging in size from 5-9 kg) at RMB 68/kg, smoked gammon ham for RMB 118/kg (approximately 4kg), hot roasted free-range chicken RMB 138/kg, smoked salmon and salmon gravlax (RMB 190/kg and RMB 198/kg respectively), roasted vegetables, stuffing, sauce, and plenty of pies. Orders must be placed four working days in advance, contact 6410 5210 or

Don’t Forget the Pies Thanksgiving would not be complete without pumpkin pie, that sweet dessert we love to indulge in, especially during the fall and early winter. Bakery pies are usually nine inches in diameter, which should feed 10-12 people. If you want to do it yourself, most supermarkets stock cans of pie filling and ready-made pie crust. Bread of Life has a pumpkin pie for RMB 90, with all profits going towards supporting orphans and children in China. Pantry’s Best makes a pumpkin pie priced at RMB 199. Delivery is free within Fourth Ring Road. Rager Pie makes a “smashed” rather than pureed pie. If you like your pumpkin chunky, get one delivered for RMB 125. Two Guys and a Pie will deliver a tasty 8” family pie for RMB 150.

November 2015 beijingkids


Indoor Fun Eight ways to keep warm and entertained by Nimo Wanjau




Mega-sized or itsy-bitsy, there’s a museum out there for everyone. China Science and Technology Museum is the stand out, with riveting interactive displays making it the best pick for kids both young and old. The China Railway Museum is also not to be missed. This warehouse-style building filled with older steam engines will bring Thomas the Tank Engine to life. Others worth a mention are Beijing Planetarium, China National Museum (with different themed exhibitions every other month), and Shijia Hutong Museum which showcases hutong culture. Age suitability: All ages Price range: RMB 30-100

Play Centers The oldie of the bunch is Fundazzle, a time tested play center that’s cheaper and can accommodate large groups. However, the staff mainly speaks Chinese and some areas are in need of a facelift. Other options include Wangjing-based Mitty Jump that although smaller has fewer crowds on the weekends. Family Box has several branches around town but staff only speak Chinese. Young kids can get their thrills at the career changing EE City at Joy City or Beyou World at Sanyuanqiao. Also see little oasis on p18. Age suitability: 3-12 Price range: RMB 80-300

Kids can let their creative juices flow at Atelier, Blue Bridge, or the UCCA Creative Studio. UCCA Creative Studio located at the 798 Art District has programs and themed classes for kids age 3-12. Blue Bridge has two locations, in Chaowai SOHO and Lido, offering themed classes. Atelier offers art, photography, and other one-time classes at their Sanlitun and Shunyi locations. At all centers classes are available geared for beginners, intermediate learners, and those just looking for something fun to do on the weekends. Age suitability: 3-17 Price range: RMB 200-2,000


beijingkids 2015 November

photos: scarygami, jonny2love, derek gavey (flickr), And courtesy of omescape


Art Centers


4 5

Climbing O’lé Climbing is the place for indoor rock climbing when colder temperatures set in. Climbing, bouldering, slacklining, and box climbing are available. All necessary equipment, including shoes, is provided. Age suitability: 5-13 Price range: RMB 120-270

Ice Skating The World Trade Center Mall’s Le Cool Ice Rink is the most popular, with large crowds during the weekends and holiday season as it’s a family favorite. In Solana Mall, the All Star Ice Rink holds classes and other fun activities. Champion Rink has branches in Haidian and Chongwen districts. Shunyi’s Quanfa Garden has its own ice rink, Center Ice Asia which plays host to ice hockey practice and games. In winter, Dulwich College Beijing has an outdoor ice rink that’s open to the public in the evenings and on weekends. Age suitability: 6-17 Price range: RMB 30-200




There’s always a karaoke (KTV) place nearby in Beijing, especially in the Chaoyang and Dongcheng districts. The only drawback is that in most places the staff speaks Chinese only. Try Party World, Chun K (Korean brand), and Melody (a chain with numerous locations). Age suitability: 10-17 Price range: RMB 500-2,000


Bowling The bowling alleys at East Gate Plaza Bowling Club in Dongzhimen and Cosmic Bowling Club in Lido are the most frequented by expats however the staff in both locations speaks Chinese only. Both places are clean, and there are packages available that include soft drinks and snacks in the price. Shoes rental is available at both locations. Age suitability: 8-17 Price range: RMB 100-250

Escape Rooms Originating in Japan, time sensitive and mentally and physically challenging, escape rooms are best enjoyed in teams of five to ten. There are two well known escape rooms service providers in Beijing: Omescape and Mr. X. Omescape has several locations, Mr. X is located at the Shimao Mall on Xingdong Lu. The prices are reasonable, but this activity isn’t suitable for younger kids as the themes in most rooms are a little scary. Age suitability: 12-17 Price range: RMB 100-200

Check our online directory for addresses, prices, and opening hours for the businesses listed above.

November 2015 beijingkids


Ray of Light

HoK’s winter lantern text by Aisling O’Brien, photos by Dave’s Studio


anish-born Asta Fris-Lodahl (age 6) is in full flow when we meet at House of Knowledge International School and Kindergarten’s Quanfa Campus (HoK). She regales us with stories, breaks into song, dance, and impersonations, even restyling my hair at one point. A natural performer and entertainer, she and older sister Laura (8) are genuine movie stars! Both girls had roles in upcoming feature film The Last Race , acting alongside British star Joseph Fiennes. Asta’s dad Jesper Lodahl is CEO of Smartots, and mom Charlotte Friis-Lodahl is a product marketing consultant. The Lodahls moved to Beijing in 2004, when Friis-Lodahl’s work for Nokia brought her to Beijing. American Chris Van Buskirk, the English pre-school lead teacher at HoK, has planned a craft perfect for wintry nights and especially useful for HoK students: HoK’s 9th Annual Family Lantern Walk, which marks the feast day of St. Martin, will take place later this month on November 13. (For more information on joining the walk, see p8).Van Buskirk recommends inserting an LED tea light into the finished lantern to really make the drawings glow.


HoK student Asta Friis-Lodahl (age November 6) shows off her winter lantern to English pre-school lead teacher Chris Van Buskirk beijingkids 2015

Maker's Corner PLAYING Estimated time: 30 minutes

Suitable for: Age 5+ (adult supervision required)

Materials • Card • Paper • Wax paper or translucent paper • Scissors

• • • •

Crayons Double-sided sticky tape (or hot glue gun) Hole punch String



Cut out all your paper shapes. Two 15 x 15cm squares of thick paper (these will be the tops and bottoms of you lantern), four 15 x 3cm strips of thick paper (these will be the supports for your lantern), and one 40 x 15cm strip of wax paper or equivalent transparent paper (this will cover the outside of your lantern.

Cut the tops and bottoms. Cut four slots on both 15 x 15cm squares, and cut a small square on the middle of your top 15 x 15cm square.



Folding. For both 15 x 15cm squares fold inward along each side, and for each corner that was cut, fold a small section inward so that it overlaps with the other side, and fold together. The finished top and bottom should look like very shallow boxes. Fold each 15 x 3cm strips in half, lengthwise.

Decorate the transparent paper with crayons.


Wrapping your lantern. Take the long transparent paper that has been decorated and wrap it along the four sides of your lantern (it sticks to the double-sided tape we used earlier).


Taping the lantern together. While child is decorating, the parent should begin taping the top and bottom squares using double-sided tape. Once the bottom and top squares are taped, place the four 15 x 3cm folded strips in each corner of the bottom square (they should stand upward and fit nicely in the corners since they are folded). After the strips are placed in the bottom, place the top square onto the four strips of paper. This forms the lanterns frame.



Final touches. With the hole punch, make two holes on the top of your lantern outside of the small square in the middle (make sure they are lined up with one another). Take a piece of string and loop it through each hole, tying a simple knot at each end. This is how you’ll hold your lantern.

November 2015 beijingkids


BSB’s Young Entrepreneurs Competition participants and winners in the “Best Pitch” category

Taking Care of Business BSB and CISB students talk entrepreneurship and investment by Yvette Ferrari


o become a successful entrepreneur, there’s often a certain level of risk involved. High stakes, knowing when and where to invest, trusting your team, and – perhaps most importantly – pulling out when necessary, are just a few struggles most entrepreneurs face. As we learned from putting together this month’s issue, entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart. That said, while not everyone is cut out to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, there are certainly applicable business and life skills entrepreneurship can teach everyone. This month, we speak to students from the British School of Beijing (BSB Shunyi Campus) and Canadian International School of Beijing (CISB) about how school programs have shaped their views on business and entrepreneurship endeavors.

BSB’s Young Entrepreneurs Competition


beijingkids 2015 November

Students conduct their own market research in order to find out what product their target market wants. This includes student surveys using a combination of open and closed ended questions, collecting and collating data, and finally dividing the market into subsets of consumers, a process called market segmentation. It takes four rounds of research in all before students decide on their final product. At the fifth annual Beijing Young Entrepreneurs Competition held at BSB, students presented their products and were judged by a panel of external entrepreneurs.

photos: Courtesy of BSB

Within the IGCSE business studies course at BSB Shunyi Campus, one of the course’s major assignments is the marketing project. Culminating with the school’s annual Beijing Young Entrepreneurs Competition, the project allows students to apply the skills taught in the business studies class in a practical sense. David Mounter, economics and business studies teacher explains, “[Year 10] students develop a product, fund it, and promote it in front of real-life entrepreneurs in Beijing. It’s an excellent learning experience and students can also gain leadership and entrepreneurial skills as they work through the unit.”

schooled LEARNING

“ According to the others, I was a bit obsessed with the project ” We speak to South Korean native Chan Young Park, now in Grade 11. Park’s group was awarded first place for best pitch in last academic year’s competition. His group made a universal adaptor for apple and android devices capable of storing files and charging various devices. The 16 year-old shares the highs and lows of the competition as well and the valuable lesson the project taught him about being a successful entrepreneur. Tell us more about the marketing project. My team included myself and some of my friends from the business class. The project was all about the process of marketing a specific product to a specific market through the stages of brainstorming, carrying out primary and secondary market research, designing products, deciding the best way to advertise, and where to sell, to designing posters, producing commercial video, creating a website, contacting actual producers, drawing up a financial plans, and finally preparing a presentation to persuade the investors. The team had to stick with the project for approximately half a year. What kind of challenges did you face? It was a totally new kind of challenge; we had to start from the basics asking ourselves questions like ‘What kind of product should we create?’, ‘What is this project asking us to do?’, and ‘What products are most practical?’ After endless discussions, the team defined a practical product as one that that could increase efficiency. The team came up with several ideas of products and services but as time went by, it became increasingly hard for us to predict what customers actually wanted. Our ideas sort of stagnated. Instability of members was another problem. One of the team leaders left the school early on and another member left just two months before the competition. The work of six people was now on four. As a leader of the team, I had to delegate and divide work among members and no one in the group wanted to take on the leftover duties. I didn’t expect that other members would find it hard to finish the work in a given time. But according to the others, I was a bit obsessed with the project.

BSB student Chan Park

What skills did working on the project and competition help you develop? I’ll always be grateful for this competition because I gained confidence in public speaking. Until the competition, I often felt embarrassed about making mistakes on stage or during presentations. In preparation for the competition, however, I was given an opportunity to develop. I watched several presentations by famous figures like Steve Jobs. Sometimes, I even tried to copy their movements on stage. These efforts worked really well on the day of the competition and I’m not shy on stage anymore. I make mistakes, but I’m able to turn them into jokes. Besides coming up with a good product or service idea, what advice would you give other students thinking of starting a business project? Before the competition, I was one of the people who believed that teamwork doesn’t matter as much as the individual with the best ability, but teamwork does matter. The most important part of running a business is not complex computer and maths skills or fancy language ability – it’s being able to depend on your team. What’s more important in the context of entrepreneurship, innovation or follow through? It is best when the two accompany each other, but follow through is even more significant in the world of business. When there are only innovative ideas, but dedication and motivation are lacking, there will only be numerous projects stuck at the beginning stage. If nothing drives a good idea, the value of creativity is worthless. Do you strive to be an entrepreneur in the future? What traits do you think make a successful entrepreneur? I will definitely be an entrepreneur in the future. This experience made a great impression on me. Perfection is what drives an entrepreneur to achieve the goal. Efficiency is the principle that keeps the entrepreneur in line with perfection.

Chan (center) proudly displays his team’s first place trophy for “Best Pitch”

November 2015 beijingkids


LEARNING schooled

Students display homemade goodies from their respective countries for CISB Invest’s international food fair

CISB Invest is Here to Help


beijingkids 2015 November

Tell us more about CISB Invest and its micro-financing initiatives. What kind of initiatives does the club fund? Kiva lends a certain amount of money, so that people can start up a new business, pay medical bills, or even for college tuition. Since it is a loan, all the money is eventually returned. Our job is to raise money through activities that we organize at school and then invest it into some of the causes provided by Kiva. Once we receive the money back, we simply invest it again – it’s a cycle. So far, we helped repair a roof, pay university fees, deliver a baby, provide fishing equipment, start-up a cooking business, and much more. The greatest part about this project is that we help individuals – we know their name and story – and the fact that we might have significantly influenced someone’s life.

photos: Courtesy of CISB

Over at CISB, a group of eight students and their humanities teacher came together at the start of 2015 to form a club called CISB Invest. The club cooperates with a website called, an organization that supports people from developing countries in need of financial help. CISB Invest club members work together to organize monthly activities. Fundraising efforts range from international food fairs to smaller money generating events such as on-site henna tattooing. Additionally, club members are responsible for deciding, via Kiva’s website, who they will lend money to. This academic year, the club has almost doubled in size to include 15 students. We caught up 15 year-old Martyna Pekala, originally from Poland and a founding member of CISB Invest. Martyna tells beijingkids about the philanthropic projects the club invests in and the most important lessons CISB Invest has taught her.

“ In terms of what I’ve gained, it’s a feeling that our actions matter and what we do has an impact on how society functions ” How does the club decide which projects to invest in? Since we are all students, we are concerned by the issue of children not having a chance to attend schools and so we tend to look for education causes. However, Kiva tells you how many days are left until one’s money request is over; therefore, we often try to fully fund those whose time is almost up, regardless of the field associated with it. How much are typical loans? We usually lend between USD 25-100 for each cause, which is a typical amount suggested by Kiva. How does the club determine whether an investment is “safe”? Safe investments are mainly about making sure sources or organizations that take part in this process are trustworthy and effective. Furthermore, an investor should not be afraid to take risks, yet their decisions must be reasonable and wise. Conversely, what projects aren’t generally considered safe investments? Anything that might be questioned by law is not a safe investment. Besides that, processes that aren’t specific or well-planned are most likely to fail.

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What skills does CISB Invest develop? This club definitely helps develop time-management skills, organizational ability, and empathy. When it comes to organizing fundraisers, we need to be quick and creative in order to get it done as soon as possible. In terms of what I’ve gained, it’s a feeling that our actions matter and what we do has an impact on how society functions.

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t sco CISB Invest member Martyna Pekala

What has being a part of CISB Invest taught you about and entrepreneurship and investment? CISB Invest teaches that entrepreneurship requires smart strategies. It’s important to organize every single event with all the relevant details, and manage time wisely. We needed to decide on the date, duration, and the cost of every fundraiser we hold, which teaches us how to construct smart and realistic plans. Secondly, I’ve learned the main idea of investment; that you have to spend money first in order to earn much more later. Have there been any stand out projects CISB Invest has helped get off the ground? One of the people we’ve helped was Sylvia from South Africa. She’s running a daycare center and she takes care of children on her own. Her dream was to open another center and create new job opportunities for young women. Within the Kiva loan and CISB Invest as one of the funders, she was able to buy a kitchen unit and renovated the school yard so that the environment could be safe for the children that already attend the daycare and the ones about to start. The loan made her business more attractive to current and future customers and therefore, she keeps her business going.

November 2015 beijingkids


LEARNING Open to Question

Need to Succeed BIBA students pit the individual against the community by Yvette Ferrari


n today’s competitive global climate, everyone is striving for success. To achieve it, western countries often strongly emphasize individualism. Our education sectors, media, and culture place high value on personal creativity and drive. In many eastern cultures – China’s included – network, family, and community are thought to play an instrumental role in one’s success. We pose the question to two 15-year-old students from Beijing International Bilingual Academy (BIBA):

Do communities or individuals play a larger role in determining personal success? Muzna Khan, 15, Pakistan, has been in Beijing four years For years people have argued about whether the individual or community plays a bigger role in determining personal success. Before answering that question, let’s examine a few philosophical questions: What is personal success? How can it be achieved? Who is truly considered successful? And lastly, what helped them to become successful – was it their community or themselves as an individual? Everyone has different answers to these questions; however I believe that community plays a much larger role than the individual in determining personal success.


beijingkids 2015 November

ity n u m m Co

Open to Question LEARNING It’s important to acknowledge that success has different meanings for different people. For many, success is only measured by wealth and fame, but to others it’s much more than that. Others view success as a journey with peaks and valleys, setbacks and mistakes, achievements and failures. In these terms, success is being happy with the life you live and – though it may not always be a bed of roses – always trying to make the best of it. By definition then, community plays a vital role in accomplishing that. Communities are the groups of people we spend our time and lives with. Neighbors, teachers, friends, families, and relatives are all examples of communities. It’s obvious that those we spend our lives with will have an effect on us. While sometimes this effect can be negative, in many cases communities can also help make an individual extremely successful. When we spend time with our communities, we often talk openly about various topics and are able to seek out the advice and opinions of others. For example, as a high school student, I talk to my teachers and parents about the universities I should apply to, what subjects I would want to study, what career I might pursue in my professional life, and much more. Similarly, I talk to my neighbors about daily life, how they’re doing, whether or not they need help with anything. Lastly, how can we possibly forget our friends? “A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself.” This beautiful (and anonymous) quote perfectly fits the description of a friend’s role in our lives. Friends are the people who are always there for you, whether times are good or bad. When you have a positive, strong community, you are most likely to be successful in life. Some examples of famous successful people whose communities played a large role in their lives are Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Taylor Swift. There are many others. Whether the steps toward success are small or a large, community will always play a larger role than the individual. Therefore, it’s essential to surround yourself with people that will help you grow and achieve personal success. However, it’s important not to rely solely on community all the time because when you help yourself, others will be more likely to help you too.

l a u i d v i I nd

photos: Courtesy of BIBA

Kevin Lim, 15, South Korea, has been in Beijing 13 years The individual plays a larger role than community in determining personal success. My opinion is based on two main points: One, the simple fact that everyone is different and two, that the individual accumulation of decisions a person makes are the root of successful or non-successful outcomes. In order to be successful people need to know themselves first. Everyone has their own unique set of characteristics, attributes, and challenges they face. People generally know themselves and their own behaviors better than anyone else. Community – be it friends, family, or others – generally do not know who you are as well as you do. With that in mind, it’s difficult to view community as the bigger determinant of personal success. According to research by author and doctor, Jack Phillip London, nearly 65 percent of people were successful in their field when they were free from outside intervention. He claimed that understanding oneself helped develop each person’s foundation, and that that understanding grew deeper as time passed, ultimately contributing to their success. Furthermore, he argued that success is an internal reward for how a person carries out their life, both in business and personal matters.

Secondly, every individual is responsible for his or her own future. The decisions each person makes will have an impact on their lives. Some say that in current times, many people are too quick to adapt to trends in order to survive or succeed. However, deciding to follow the herd may have many negative influences on an individual’s success. Even if a person is “successful” following a trend, they are still technically failing if they don’t bring their own unique style. It is hard to be truly unique when people are too similar to others. In short, opportunities are really what an individual makes of them, and people need to do anything they can to fight their way up the food chain. If you pay attention in school, work hard, stay sober, stay out of trouble, marry young, save your money, and sacrifice for the future, you will get ahead just fine and will find life worth living. To reiterate, individuals play a much larger role than communities in determining personal success, not only because personal decisions make great differences, but also because people are unique. One’s self image is of utmost important because if you know who you are and believe in yourself, then you can do practically anything.

November 2015 beijingkids


Students from

The British School of Beijing Sanlitun Campus fill November’s Blank Canvas “W

ithin our topic of space, Year 5 students were asked to imagine what would happen if there was an alien invasion. The children imagined that they were aliens and used this perspective to produce abstract works of art using oil pastels.” - BSB Art Subject Leader Kirsty McCarra

Chloe Huang, 9, UK My picture represents a tour around the school from an alien’s perspective. I hope my drawing makes people feel bright and happy.

Lizzie Sutton, 9, New Zealand I used a range of shapes with different outlines. I also did some overlapping in my art to make it eye-catching.

Christine Wu, 9, Australia My artwork represents what an alien would see if he were in a classroom. I included a pencil, clock, bookshelf, and other things from around the school.

Cristiano Grau, 9, Brazil My work is supposed to inspire colorful ideas in people who don’t have inspiration. It also shows an alien’s point of view, which is an overexaggerated human point of view.


beijingkids 2015 November


Leroy Lai, 9, Canada My abstract piece represents the alien’s view of the staffroom. I started by drawing the orange cup with a tiny handle and finished by coloring the many tiles.

Lilian Lian, 9, China My art is meant to represent an alien at school. I have drawn a globe and a long pencil. I used different colors to make it stand out.

Annie Zhang, 9, US My piece of art represents our school with bright colors to attract people’s attention. I used my finger to smudge some of the colors to make the effect better.

Lucy Kwon, 9 South Korea My artwork represents an alien’s walk through our school. I made a bit of a zigzag so people would really have to look to see the familiar objects I drew.

Soyoon Kim, 9, South Korea My piece of abstract art is drawn from an alien’s point of view. It contains lots of different shapes and contrasting colors which made it brighter.

Tashi Sutton, 10, New Zealand My artwork shows how aliens might view things differently than people. I thought aliens might see things as wiggly, bigger, or smaller, and that objects might overlap.

November 2015 beijingkids




The Business of Childrearing Raising kids is a labor of love by Ember Swift


regnant for the first time more than four years ago, I couldn’t stop thinking that it would be the perfect time for me to start an entrepreneurial business venture in China. As I had been a full-time touring artist for most of the preceding fifteen years, I thought, “I won’t be travelling so often with my music now…” Then, I looked dreamily into the entrepreneurial mirror and asked myself, “So what is the next thing I want to do with my newfound time?” Anyone who has had a child knows I was fully delusional. What newfound time was I talking about, exactly? The most surprising thing was not just the fact that any so-called “surplus” time was swallowed by new motherhood, it was that during any time that suddenly presented itself, I was so bereft of energy and functionally “mommy-brain-dead” that I couldn’t accomplish anything. It took me about eleven months to discover that I – the independent adult – hadn’t actually been swallowed along with time. Nope. I’m still here! So when the fog started to lift, I wondered if then would be the right time to launch one of the many ideas I had been mulling over. Going back onto the road performing music full-time wasn’t for me. A

gig once in awhile, sure, but I wanted to be home with our daughter, primarily. I was smitten with motherhood. A few months later, I was pregnant again. The cycle repeats. Now, more than four years after that dreamy look in the entrepreneurial mirror, I’ve decided it’s time. But not time to implement them. It’s not what you think. Like the tight jeans that I keep holding onto because they looked so good on me before kids, my entrepreneurial ideas must now be passed on to those whose schedules will actually fit them. So, these ones (some of my favorites) I gift to the idle among you readers: • Spontaneous phone-call translation support by native English speakers with great Chinese language skills to communicate your needs but, most importantly, the native English to understand them perfectly in the first place. • Day-care and Chinese language training combined: for new “trailing spouse” parents in Beijing – moms and dads alike – essential Chinese training in a small group from a solid Chinese teacher with a competent team of childcare providers in the next room to occupy their kids during class hours. • Essential baby items rental service: Especially for travelers who aren’t from Beijing. Items like car seats, feeding chairs, cribs, etc. delivered to the airport or local hotels. • Ikea shopper stand-in: Ikea has no online purchasing options, so we need a runner service – people willing to shop for you and then deliver the requested items to your door. • Taobao set-up service: So many of my foreign friends have struggled with setting up taobao for the first time. Why not make a service out of it? Now with two children, the second one not yet 2 years old, such ideas require more of my time than my kids will allow me to siphon off from them. Until they are both in school, I am officially replacing that dreamy entrepreneurial mirror with a dreamy recovery armchair. Who needs a mirror anyway? But seriously, having kids is an entrepreneurial endeavor – especially when they’re so little. Mothering is a creative innovation-filled project filled with complex daily problem solving. And like any entrepreneurial project, they run you off your feet and keep you working an average of fourteen hours a day – willingly – because it’s a labor of love. My clients are my kids. My bottom line is their happiness.

About the Writer

Ember Swift is a Canadian musician and writer who has been living in Beijing since late 2008. She and her husband Guo Jian (国囝), who is also a musician, have a daughter called Echo (国如一) and a son called Topaz.


beijingkids 2015 November


How Young Is Too Young to Be Left Home Alone? Factors to consider before leaving kids unattended by Sally Wilson


eciding if your child is ready to be left home alone can be tricky. Whether you or your child are comfortable with the idea will often depend on how mature and adaptable your child is – and we all know how much this can vary from child to child. There are no hard and fast ‘home alone’ rules because every child is different. Strange as it may seem, in most countries there’s no set age for leaving children unattended. The law simply says that you shouldn’t leave a child alone if they’ll be at risk and you can be prosecuted for doing so. There might not be a specified legal age, but The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) says children under 12 are rarely mature enough to be left alone for a long period of time, children under 16 shouldn’t be left alone overnight, and babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone. Even if they’re sleeping peacefully when you leave, children could well wake up and get very upset when you’re not there to look after them. However mature your child may seem, most under-eights simply don’t have the cognitive ability to predict danger or assess risk. What is ‘sensible’ to an adult, won’t be ‘sensible’ to many 6-year-olds. Leaving a child at home on their own can also make them scared and vulnerable if they’re not completely comfortable with it. Sometimes they become anxious, and start attention-seeking upon parents’ return. But children also love being given independence, and freedom is important for their development. They need to play outside on their own and be left without adult supervision for short periods. Hanging out the washing while your kids play indoors, or letting them play in the garden while you cook dinner, is important for their development. Leaving them on their own while you pop to the shops is a different thing altogether. Six or 7-year-olds might seem like mini adults to you, but they’re not. They are children lacking intellectual development necessary to cope if something goes wrong. There have been times when I’ve forgotten to pick up some milk or bread. It’s 7.30pm, my 3-year-old is fast asleep and my 6 year old is happily reading a few books in bed. The shop is only a ten minute cycle ride there and back, but leaving them alone would never even cross my mind. We just have to make do without milk! What would happen if one of them hurt themselves; what if there was an emergency in the house like a fire; what if something happened to me while I was “popping out” for a few minutes, I could fall off my bike. Realistically, the likelihood of there being an accident or emergency is miniscule, but it can, and indeed it does, happen. Just look at the devastating outcome for Madeleine McCann’s parents.

No one knows your child quite as well as you, but it’s still a good idea to consider a few key things before deciding whether it really is the right thing to do. • Does your child seem to be responsible and mature for their age and always do what you tell them? Can they safely fix themselves something to eat and drink, do you allow them to use the kettle or microwave? • Can you imagine how they’d cope in an emergency like a power cut or a flooded bathroom? • Would they know what to do if the phone rang or someone came to the door? • Would they know how to contact you or another family member or friend if they needed to? • How would they feel about being left alone? You might think they would be pleased to be given the responsibility, when in fact they are scared by the thought of it.

About the Writer beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son; her daughter was born here in 2011. She is (most of the time) a keen runner, loves reading, and is also a bit of a foodie.

November 2015 beijingkids


Bright Ideas photo by Dave’s Studio 48

Xyzanyn Valmonte (age 11) 2015 makes November space for inspiration to flow beijingkids


ove of competition, courage in the face of uncertainty and risk, clarity of vision, the will to be self-sufficient, make a difference, or create jobs and wealth: dynamic forces motivate entrepreneurs. Without them, our economies would stagnate and crumble. This month we speak to five Beijing based business-owners about what motivates them, how they accomplished their successes, and what the future holds.

November 2015 beijingkids


S M O M E S E TH MEAN S S E N I S U B Expat moms that discovered their inner entrepreneur by Sally Wilson


beijingkids 2015 November

photos: Courtesy of Lyndal Halliday, Marianne Daquet, and Jennifer Jin Ma


he employment market for moms can be tough. Finding a job that is satisfying, wellpaid, enables you to draw on your skills and experience, and that can also be done while raising a family isn’t easy. This is why many expat women become entrepreneurs and set up their own businesses. In doing so, these moms have found ways to carve out a business niche for themselves, opening up employment opportunities that just aren’t available in the conventional job market. Most of us at some point see an opportunity: an unsatisfied demand in the market or an existing product or service which could be improved. Entrepreneurs are the ones that actually act on these opportunities. They have self-belief that their idea and vision can be made real through hard work and the capacity to learn the lessons of the market along the way. beijingkids spoke to three entrepreneur moms, all of whom have built successful companies. Running your own business is not easy, but these moms have managed to do so with a mix of creativity, commitment, and sheer determination.


Lyndal Halliday, Flowerley Australian Lyndal Halliday has lived in China for five years, starting out down south in rural Guangdong and arriving in Beijing in 2013. Halliday has two kids, Leo (age 6) and May (18 months). With an undergraduate degree in social science and international relations, Halliday had a brief stint in research and lobbying, before going on to pursue a PhD in sociology. While studying she worked as both an academic and a casual florist shop assistant. She loved both. After much soul searching (and many tears!) she decided to give up her PhD. “I needed something to do while my husband was working near Guangzhou, so I completed a year-long floral design diploma in Hong Kong.” Travelling back and forth across the border, carrying giant armfuls of flowers, “I would arrive late at night in a little known town called Shilong. The locals must have thought I was some sort of crazy flower foreigner!” she laughs. Halliday started her company Flowerley in October 2013, a small floristry studio specializing in beautiful custom bouquets delivered throughout Beijing. “I offer a highly bespoke English speaking service with a different design aesthetic than what can generally be found in Beijing,” she explains. When Halliday first arrived in Beijing, she looked for work based on her research expertise and interests. “I was also pregnant with our second child and while I had a few good interviews, I was told I couldn’t be hired because I was on the wrong visa or that I was pregnant.” Disheartened and disappointed, she decided to take charge of her own employment and make bunches of beautiful flowers. “I built a website from scratch, had some business cards printed, and started telling people I was a florist. I didn’t feel like a florist, I still felt like a pregnant, unemployed, failed academic, and trailing spouse, but walking the talk helped me transition into a different career,” she explains.

One of the most challenging aspects of setting up Flowerley has been learning to think like an entrepreneur. “After a decade in universities I had no idea how to think for profit,” she says. Another challenge is working within the Internet restrictions in China. “My customers are generally based overseas and as such my work is heavily Google dependent.” Working moms are constantly trying to strike that work-life balance. The priority for Halliday is first and foremost her family and so she chooses not to work full-time. “For me, I get that balance by putting my children first, being OK with saying no to customers, and working late at night,” she says. Despite being offered incredible opportunities, such as designing all the flowers for a new Mercedes-Benz launch, in reality taking on such big contracts is impossible. With a young baby around, and only her spare room to work in, such projects are just too big. In a nod to her sociologist past, Halliday observes that in Beijing she gets to experience the random and contradictory forces of globalization in action. “It gives me a thrill to stand in the middle of this mega city, essentially engaged in a delivery job like any migrant worker, baby strapped to me, arms filled with bouquets, carrying little messages of love from far flung parts of the world. I get many a quizzical look at the front desk of large Chinese firms!” she says. Being an entrepreneur mom, is there one thing that Halliday cannot live without? “How about five things?! My husband (and chief cheerleader), my son who tells me my flowers make everything beautiful, my ayi who lovingly looks after our youngest and keeps everything ship-shape, the Internet, and our trusty Jeep.” Halliday would like to expand into providing floral design workshops as a way of combining her past life in universities and her current life of flowers. At the moment she’s looking for a suitable venue. Watch this space!

November 2015 beijingkids



“At the end of the class, the kids were so happy… It reminded me why I do this job and why I created this school,” Marianne Daquet, Atelier Art School Jennifer Jin Ma, little oasis Jennifer Jin Ma is a Chinese national who grew up in New Zealand. She has been living in Beijing for three years and has two boys, Lucas (age 4) and Jacob (2). Ma studied Law and Commerce at University, and her professional background was in brand management, working with luxury brands in Australia and London. Ma is the founder of little oasis, which opened up in Beijing’s Parkview Green mall in June of this year. A lifestyle space catering to families with children age 0-6, the vision for little oasis is to ‘redefine family time’. The space comprises of a playground, café, lounge, classroom, golf simulator, mini-spa, and working office. “I was inspired to start a business by my own kids, my own needs, and the needs I saw in the moms around me,” explains Ma. “The idea came about simply because my own needs weren’t being met as a mom with two little kids, and I observed that the same gap was felt by many others,” she continues. Ma went through a number of stages before being able to propel her dream into a reality, a process that took about two years. “I did numerous round tables with potential target market groups, and then wrote a business plan to see if it was a feasible idea,” she explains. Next was research and lots of it. “It’s vital to find out as much as you can about the industry you want to get into and the different types of businesses that already exist.”


beijingkids 2015 November

Ma wrote out the key steps she would need to follow in order for her business to come to life. The first step was to find a location, and Parkview Green mall is an impressive location to have. “That’s when I thought, this is going to work,” she says. “But I have moments like that every day, when I have a small win! But I can’t dwell on it for too long, we’re a start-up business and it will be a long journey filled with small wins and losses,” she says. There have been many challenges along the way, not least adjusting to a new lifestyle and going from being a mom to a business woman. “This means trying to balance it all. It’s never going to be perfect and you will never please everyone. Just stay true to what you want to do.” Businesswise there’s the challenge of having to be totally present for all aspects of the business. “A start-up is like a new born baby. You are growing it for nine months inside your brain, getting it together, and then it’s born. The first few months in particular are overwhelming as its new every day, so you have to learn, adjust, and solve issues very quickly.” Despite these challenges, setting up the business has given so much to Ma. From meeting interesting people, watching her idea come to life, and seeing people get so much value and enjoyment out of little oasis. “Running my own business means having a purpose I’m passionate about in life. But I couldn’t do it without a supportive husband and kick-ass girlfriends!”

Marianne Daquet, Atelier Art School Hailing from France, where she grew up in the Paris suburbs, Marianne Daquet arrived in Beijing in 2006. She has two daughters ages 4 and 5. Daquet studied fine arts in school and during her studies taught art at evening classes and in the holidays. “After graduation I taught art in elementary and high school, during which time I also worked on my own art and was doing exhibitions and illustrations,” she says. In Beijing, she first worked at the French school, training teachers. Then in 2007 installed a studio in her little hutong courtyard. “I started my first classes there,” she explains. “I was teaching weekly classes and holiday workshops, mostly for French kids.” Daquet stopped for a while when her first child was born and, when she became pregnant with her second child six months later, decided not to resume the classes. “After the birth of my second child, I knew my life was here in Beijing and it was time to settle and build something on my own. I had this idea of continuing to give art classes, but in a new place, with more teachers and more diversity to offer to the public,” she explains. Daquet felt there was a lack of good artistic education being offered, in the different art centers and schools she visited. “I had a strong feeling that my idea for the art school was a good one, not just as a business but as a mission to improve art teaching in Beijing,” she explained.

Our moms’ advice on setting up a business: • Decide what you want to do, and do it. No idea is too big or too small. Write it down. Make a plan. And work on it every single day. • Write a business plan that includes non-financial goals and priorities. This will keep you focused on all your priorities and remind you why you started a business in the first place. • To be successful in China you need to deliver to an international standard. Work hard to give your customers better value and better products.

Daquet met another woman who was interested by the project. They partnered up and opened Atelier Art School in September 2012. The business started small and quickly they had enough students who came, stayed, and told their friends. Daquet’s business partner is no longer involved, and the second branch of Atelier opened in Shunyi this year. “What was challenging for me was growing, because growing a business requires practical knowledge that I do not have. The opening of our second school was a big challenge, it still is,” she says. There have been emotional challenges for Daquet too. They once prepared classes for Bethel, the NGO that looks after blind children. Daquet taught the first class, with another Chinese teacher, and it was very intense. “At the end of the class, the kids were so happy and they achieved beautiful things. When they left I couldn’t stop myself from crying. It reminded me why I do this job and why I created this school,” she says. Some periods during the year are incredibly busy for Daquet, requiring her to work all day, late evenings, and weekends. “I have a wonderful team and whenever I can, I take my kids to the events. Atelier is a second home for them!” she laughs.

• Take small steps. Nothing will ever be perfect and if you wait until it’s perfect, you will never start anything. • There will be difficult times, exhausting moments, and sometimes you’ll want to give up. But if you believe in your idea, just do it! • Believe in yourself. Self-doubt can be a major impediment to extending yourself and taking risks. • Being afraid can be a good thing. It means you are challenging yourself.

November 2015 beijingkids


LET THEM EAT CUPCAKES There’s nothing half-baked about Alyssa Lam’s latest project by Sijia Chen

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beijingkids 2015 November

photos: Courtesy of Karen Lam


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ome of our readers may remember Alyssa Lam as Ziggy Stardust from the cover of the beijingkids February 2014 cover. We reconnected with her and her mom, Karen, after putting out a call for child entrepreneurs. It turns out that Alyssa – now 13 and in Year 9 at Dulwich College Beijing – has been busy with her own baking business. We recently caught up with mother and daughter to find out more. Alyssa, how did your interest in baking start? Baking is one of my favorite hobbies; when I’m bored or have nothing to do, the first thing that comes to my mind is baking. My mom taught me how to bake my first cake when I was about 6 years old. I had so much fun, I started watching YouTube videos and buying baking books. When I had spare time, I would try to use those videos or books to bake a cake. Sometimes it would look absolutely disgusting but would taste great – and others not so great. How did the business come together? It started off with me baking cupcakes and cookies for school events and friends. Soon, I was baking almost every week. My mom asked if I should sell my cupcakes instead. Since I spent a lot of my parents’ money to buy the ingredients, I thought I should pay them back. But my mom started to think about how we could help the world instead of just paying her back, so that’s when we thought about donating the money to charity. I thought it was a great idea. Mom would always say how I should start my own bakery. We would joke about the name; I thought “Nose” was a cool name, as people would follow their noses to my bakery. What kind of research or learning did you have to do to set up your business? I researched different recipes and kept the good ones. Mom took me to the supermarket, where we started researching how much the ingredients were. When we got home, I was asked to write down the cost of things and worked out how much I would need to charge for my cupcakes in order to break even. We didn’t want to charge a great deal to

start with to get more customers. I started off charging RMB 120 per dozen simple cupcakes and RMB 150 for more complex ones. After running the business for six months, we decided to up the price to RMB 150 and RMB 200 respectively. So far, I have received over 70 orders. When my friends buy cupcakes from me, I write it down in my booklet and put the money in a plastic bag. At the end of each month, I count up all the money I have earned to make sure that the amount on my booklet matches the one in the plastic bag. I also researched which charity I would like to donate to; I chose my auntie’s charity, Shen Shu Yi Foundation ( Where do you get ideas for your baked goods from? I love browsing the Internet for ideas. Since we love to travel, I often take pictures of anything that catches my eyes. I get most of my simple baking ingredients (flour, eggs, butter) from Jenny Lou’s or DD’s. However, I bring back most of my decorations from the US, Australia, and places I travel to. Tell us a bit about the day-to-day workings of the business. In the past I would make batches whenever I got a request, but soon realized how busy schoolwork could be. Therefore, I have limited baking to weekends only. However, if [the customer] has a special request such as for a birthday, I normally say yes unless I have a test I need to revise for. They would come to my house to pick up [the order] or if my driver is free, he would make the delivery. However, I would normally just bring it to school as most of my “clients” are my friends. How has this experience influenced what you want to do in the future? This has a massive influence on what I would like to do in the future. Since I started baking when I was around 6, by the time I turn 18, I will have triple the experience compared to everyone else if I do decide to become a baker. Baking is also something I do to relax and to have fun instead of studying all the time; it gets my mind off a lot of things. It is one of my favorite things to do in the whole entire world.

Karen, you mentioned that Alyssa will be attending culinary school in the US this summer. Tell us more about that. Alyssa has shown a passion for making cakes from an early age. I enrolled her at the ABC Cooking School in Beijing, where she will obtain a certificate when she finishes her bread and cake-making course at the end of the year. As Alyssa progressed with her cake-making skills, she expressed a desire to learn more. I have been searching online to see if there are other professional culinary schools in the States where she can continue to build her skills while enjoying what she does. I came across the Institute of Culinary Education’s cooking camps for teens. They have courses on pastry arts, cake techniques, and bread making. We are trying to build the skills of a budding chef to conquer the kitchen from an early age. What is Alyssa like when she’s in “work mode?” It is so much fun to watch Alyssa in work mode; she gets all hyped up singing and dancing while making cookies or cupcakes. Alyssa is a fun-loving person who has no fear when it comes to challenges and she is a total joy to watch, especially when you know she is doing something she loves. What kind of thoughts and feelings have you had as you witness Alyssa grow into a budding entrepreneur? I believe she has a gift with baking. She is already learning about time management and setting priorities when it comes to juggling her studies and her baking business. With time, she will only become better at what she does. I believe anyone with a dream will succeed.

Alyssa’s Bakery Orders must placed at least three days in advance. Contact: cuukymonster (WeChat),

November 2015 beijingkids




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Jasmine Xie channels lessons from school into entrepreneurial endeavors by Sijia Chen


beijingkids 2015 November

photos: Courtesy of Jasmine Xie




wenty-year-old Jasmine Xie knows a thing or two about time management. Though busy finishing her last year at the University of Edinburgh, the international relations student is also running the branding and creative marketing agency she founded at age 19. Xie’s company, Nova Universal, connects young creatives with companies and smallto-medium enterprises in need of marketing and branding services. Campaigns have ranged from branding for start-up fashion labels to an Insta Meet at EAST Beijing where members of Instagramers Beijing led a photo walk around the hotel to increase publicity for both parties. A native of Vancouver, Xie and her family moved to Dalian when she was 13 years old. After transferring to Saint Paul American School (SPAS) two years later, she completed enough credits to skip Grade 11 and founded the student media department in Grade 12. We emailed this young overachiever to learn more about her development as an entrepreneur. Tell us a bit about your family. How did their parenting style foster the traits that helped your growth as an entrepreneur? Both my mother and father are entrepreneurs based in Beijing. Growing up with entrepreneurial parents definitely fostered an entrepreneurial mindset. Through them, I learned to look at things differently, understand the importance of time management, and not let stressful situations get to you. How did Nova Universal start? Nova Universal was founded in the summer of 2014. The founding team is composed of friends who shared the same interest in creative marketing. Members have come and gone, but two people from the original team remain: Katherine Wei and Uchenna Samuel. Without them, this company would not be what I hoped it would become. Our network of young creatives comes from events that we have held as well as luck, personal contacts, and social media.

Where does your appreciation for creativity come from? This comes from my friend circles as well as my own hobbies of photography and writing. My interest for writing started at SPAS, where I had an amazing world literature and speech teacher – Mr. Krieger – who fostered my creative writing skills. The latter are incredibly important in business when dealing with pitches as well as in marketing in general. He also sparked my inner feminist by teaching me that women can aim for that boardroom as long as they put their minds to it. This notion is especially important in China, where women in entrepreneurship face many obstacles that men do not. I’m also grateful to Dr. Jordahl and Mr. Chederquist, who supported me in pursuing the student media department, and Mr. Jason Gable, my drama teacher at the time. He was incredibly creative and I think a large part of that rubbed off on me. Tell us about the student media department you founded as a student. SPAS didn’t have a student-run media outlet where students could access news and information on what was going on in the school. After I pitched the idea [of a media department] to the vice-principal (Mr. Kevin Chederquist) and the principal (Dr. Steven Jordahl), they were both very supportive. SPAS fostered a community that encouraged students to voice their ideas, no matter how crazy. The media department put out a weekly newsletter run by a great team, which I led. Students ranged from tenth grade and up, reporting on news within the school as well as in the world that would be educational to their peers. We also helped the student council with events like prom and sports meets by acting as the communications department. What did you find most challenging about setting up the department? Probably the process of setting it up. The team and I had no idea how to use Microsoft Publisher and Adobe InDesign. We slowly learned how to set up a schedule, divide the

tasks, and figure out our operational structure and deadlines. It was like a mini-news agency. Compared to setting up the department, I barely remember what we reported. How do you apply the insights you gained then to the running of a business today? I learned that being productive is the key to innovation. That sounds so cliche and like something that you would find in a self-help book, but it’s true. Another important lesson I learned was that company culture is a key ingredient to a nice work environment, which translates into a productive team – which translates into great products. How would you encourage budding entrepreneurs to make the most out of their time at school? Get involved with your school and community. Not only will you make wonderful memories, you’ll also have a killer list for that college application. Get to know your teachers; they’re real people with real experiences and a lot of knowledge about life that can guide you in the future. If it weren’t for the great mentors I had in high school, I don’t think I’d have my current entrepreneurial spirit. What is next? I will be pursuing a Master’s in Management and hopefully joining a large marketing and advertising agency to learn the “tricks of the trade” from real experts. I hope to keep Nova Universal going as a professional hobby in the hopes of coming back to it full-time in a few years.

Nova Universal To f i n d o u t m o r e a b o u t N o v a Universal, visit The company also maintains Twitter (@ NovaUniversal), Instagram (same handle), Weibo (, and Facebook accounts (www.facebook. com/novauniversalltd). Contact Jasmine Xie at 186 0005 6889.

November 2015 beijingkids


The Circuit is a chance to check out what’s happening on the Beijing family scene. Want to see your event on these pages? 2015 Pizza Cup Launch Party On October 17 and 18, almost 8,000 people attended the Beijinger’s 2015 Pizza Cup Launch Party at Galaxy Soho. The day was packed with awesome entertainment including a dough throwing competition, spinning pizza show, and performances from three bands including Harrow International School of Beijing’s “Leaves on Toast.”

Keystone Academy Travels to Six Chinese Cities Head of School, Malcolm McKenzie, and Dean of Admissions, Rachael Beare, traveled to six cities in China presenting the Keystone model of education and its US-style boarding program. The road show stopped at Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai over two weekends in the latter half of September. For prospective parents in Beijing, the admissions team organizes weekly information sessions and campus tours. Contact their admissions team for more details and reservations.

photos: Uni You, and courtesy of Keystone


beijingkids 2015 November

THE CIRCUIT Send an email with the date of your event, a brief description, and high-resolution photos (at least 1MB each) to by November 13.

Roundabout Book Fair at BSB – A Huge Success! Twenty-five IB Students at the British School of Beijing (BSB) Shunyi participated in the set up and running of the Roundabout Book Fair from August 29 to September 7. Over RMB 200,000 was raised with 100 percent going toward supporting and treating children with leukaemia.

photos: courtesy of BSB and YCIS

Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS Beijing) Year 11 Students Experience Inner Mongolia From September 15-19, Year 11 students from YCIS Beijing traveled to Inner Mongolia with their classmates and teachers to experience local scenery, culture, and cuisine as part of the school’s Experience China Program.

November 2015 beijingkids


Harrow Critical Lunch with Imperial College London Harrow Critical Lunches, launched last year, allow a select group of students an opportunity to break bread with a distinguished visitor, ask them questions, and develop a broader understanding of the world. The series has featured specialists across a wide range of subjects. On September 8, students from Sixth Form welcomed Professor Maggie Dallman and Dr. Wang Liliang from Imperial College London. Professor Dallman talked about ‘Using Physics, Chemistry and Maths to solve Biology,’ and Dr. Wang introduced the college’s application details to students.

CISB Students Field Trip to 798 On October 6 Canadian International School of Beijing (CISB) students from the International Baccalaureate Design Technology Diploma Programme visited the Beijing Design Week Exhibition at 798. Fourteen students visited with designers, took reference photos, and learned about product design and manufacture.

photos: courtesy of Hisb and cisb


beijingkids 2015 November

THE CIRCUIT BWYA Sports Day 2015 Beijing World Youth Academy (BWYA) held its annual sports day on October 5. The annual event is a celebration of BWYA sports and gives every student the opportunity to take part in games and races suited all abilities. The school split into four teams for the day: Earth, Air, Fire and Water, and this year the Water team took home the trophy for the third year running. BWYA Athletics Director and head of PE, Mirko Mirkovich, thanked the school and parent volunteers who helped make Sports Day 2015 possible.

photos: courtesy of BWYA and wab

WAB Athletics Teams Are Looking Good! In September, WAB recently published a powerful set of athletics team photos for its season one sports. Check out the whole collection on

November 2015 beijingkids


Terry Fox Run at ISB September 25 marked a proud tradition at International School of Beijing (ISB), as faculty, staff, and students took to the track to run the 22nd annual Terry Fox Run.

Eduwings Jungle Adventure On September 19, Eduwings held a jungle-adventure themed party at its Shunyi campus. Families from both of its campuses came together for fun activities including face-painting and “fishing.�

photos: courtesy of ISB and eduwings


beijingkids 2015 November

THE CIRCUIT Krav Maga at BCIS As part of their recent Week Without Walls study week, students in Beijing City International School (BCIS) Grade 12 were given selfdefense classes in the Israeli-style martial art of Krav Maga.

photos: courtesy of BCIS and Side by Side

Side by Side Students have Fun with Flavors Side by Side’s special education day programme had the September theme of “Food” and Dominic, Max, Isaac, Polina, and Johann blind tasted different foods with the flavors bitter, sour, spicy, salty, and sweet.

November 2015 beijingkids


The Kara Family


he Kara family recently celebrated their one-year Chinaversary, having moved to Beijing from London last autumn. UK natives, the family initially relocated for dad Rohan’s job as director of admissions and marketing at Harrow International School Beijing (HISB) however, mom Emily is a general practitioner and now works in the family medicine unit at Oasis International Hospital. The couple has two daughters: Eloise (age 4) and little sister Ophelia (2) who both attend Harrow in the nursery and pre-nursery programs. Rohan shares some of his family’s favorite Beijing discoveries made this past year.

by Yvette Ferrari, photo by Dave’s Studio

Favorite Family Restaurant The Orchard in Shunyi; it’s very kidfriendly. It’s local, reasonably priced, and our kids are young enough to eat for free at the brunch.

Favorite Snack Jianbing (a street pancake with crispy filling, egg, coriander, and spicy sauce).

Family Rituals Saturdays tend to be a lazy morning of playing at home followed by coffee for the adults and pastries for the kids at the local Comptoirs de France. Sundays, the kids and I bake bread.

Weekend Activities Eloise has ballet on Saturdays and we try to go swimming (the advantage of having access to the school pool at weekends) followed by a family brunch/lunch.

Day Trip Nanshan Ski Village in the winter.

Best Place to Celebrate a Special Occasion Temple Restaurant Beijing. Emily and I were recommended Temple for our five year wedding anniversary.

Favorite Place to Shop for Yourself John Pei Tailor. I’m amazed at how good, yet affordable tailored clothing is here. Knockoff shops in the Pearl Market – it’s the first time Emily bought herself a “branded” handbag!

Favorite Neighborhood 798. There is a very relaxed, bohemian atmosphere around there; a nice contrast.

Best Place to Shop for the Kids Indigo Mall, with H&M being our favorite.

New Hangouts in Beijing The small bars and venues in the hutongs around Gulou. I especially like 8-Bit.


Best Spot for Parents’ Date Night We are still enjoying the variety in Sanlitun from Mr Shi’s Dumplings to cocktail bars like Miles and Hidden House or rooftop bars like Fez.

From left to right: Emily, Eloise (ageNovember 4), Rohan, and Ophelia Kara (2) beijingkids 2015

Best Place to Play Indoors The girls love the soft play center at Europlaza.

Favorite Autumn Activity Last autumn was very much a settling in time so we didn’t get to do much but our trip to Mutianyu Great Wall and seeing all the different autumn colors in the countryside was memorable.

beijingkids Nov 2015  

Our November issue focuses on entrepreneurship, from school projects, to kids’ ideas of success, to moms who are dreaming big.

beijingkids Nov 2015  

Our November issue focuses on entrepreneurship, from school projects, to kids’ ideas of success, to moms who are dreaming big.